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The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has commended the management of Pipeline and Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for its efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country during the yuletide.

In a statement credited to the union’s Chairman in Kafanchan, a town in southern Kaduna State, Mallam Ibrahim Iro, he said the country witnessed fair and equitable allocation of petroleum products to marketers during the season, a situation he said assisted motorists to avert undue hike in transport fares across the nation usually experienced during the period.

He said despite the fact the PPMC  has become the major importer of petrol into the country, with most major and independent marketers suspending imports until further notice, still the agency ensured products availability across the country.“We should commend the handwork and commitment of the leadership of PPMC for its effort in ensuring that petroleum products were available across the country during the season. Everyone appreciates the critical role fuel availability play in conveying commuters to their various destinations. Had it been that fuel was scare as many predicted, it would have affected the transport fares upwards. But that was not the case and families were able to reunite with loved ones during the season,” he said.

Iro maintained that it was amazing how PPMC achieved the feat, adding that it was forced to shut down its pipeline at Ije-ododo community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, to avert further loss of lives and to allow efforts to extinguish the fire caused by vandals on the oil facility following a recent vandalisation in the area.

“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians to shun any act capable of jeopardising the economic growth of the country, especially pipeline cannibalisation. The unending incidents of pipeline hacking and product theft in the country currently pose great danger to the efficient distribution and supply of petroleum products in some parts of the country and we in the north are more vulnerable in scarcity situations. Therefore, the nefarious activities of pipeline marauders, if left on checked, cripple the  economy and indeed the downstream sector of the petroleum industry,” he said.

He said that according to the records, about 774 break points were recorded from August to December, 2012 from Atlas Cove to Ilorin depot only. While 181 break points were recorded between Atlas Cove and Mosimi depot, and from Mosimi to Ibadan, there were 421 ruptured points and from Mosimi to Ore, 50 were vandalised points recorded. Also between Ibadan and Ilorin it was said that a total of 122 break points were recorded.

“The record is alarming and we cannot afford to continue like this. The economy is bleeding and all the resources, man hour wasted on repairing pipelines could be channelled to other productive means in the country. We certainly have to condemn this dastardly act,” he said.

Iro further stated that despite all the challenges, PPMC was still able to ensure effective distribution of petroleum products across the country through increased trucking during and after the season.