Some vandals have successfully scooped petrol from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s System 2B pipeline located in front of Good Luck Estate, Idimu, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos and later disappeared without arrest, leaving behind a 33,000 litre truck with registration number JND 162 XA belonging to one R. A. Oluwakemi, after the security agents tried to apprehend them, the independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Ejigbo Satellite Depot has revealed.
Mr Akin Akinrinade, IPMAN Ejigbo Satellite Depot Chairman, made this known while reporting to incident to newsmen at the weekend.
According to him, some vandals, who were found scooping petrol on System 2B pipeline in front of Good Luck Estate, Idimu, after security operatives made attempt to arrest them, leaving behind a 33,000 litre truck with registration number JND 162 XA belonging to one R. A. Oluwakemi, a marketer, loading at Ibadan depot, at the scene of petrol scooping in Idimu.
EnergyDay gathered that this is not the first time that such incident would be happening as the IPMAN Depot Chairman disclosed that vandals had been arrested and truck recovered at the scene of this nefarious act are found back on the road within a short time.
Our Correspondent gathered that the cases of petroleum pipeline vandalism is now on the increase due to the attractiveness of the downstream sector after the complete removal of the subsidy on petrol by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Further check also suggested the culpability of the security operatives who have been alleged of collaborating with the vandals to perpetrate the heinous act.
Akinrinade said, “This continuous vandalism is a setback to the effort of IPMAN and NNPCL to ensure uninterrupted supply of petrol to Lagos and the entire Southwest region of Nigeria.
“It is noteworthy that a 33,000 litre truck with registration number JND 162 XA belonging to one R. A. Oluwakemi, a marketer, loading at Ibadan depot was apprehended at the scene of petrol scooping in Idimu.
“The truck was painted in blue and white colour, with registration number JND 162 XA was apprehended at the scene of the vandalism,” he added.
Akinrinade said that the vandals absconded, while all their scooping equipments and the trucks were abandoned. According to him, the items abandoned have been taking to Idimu Area “M” Command by the security agents.
“This is not the first time vandals had being arrested and truck recovered at the scene of this nefarious act are found back on the road within a short time,” he said.
The chairman, therefore, condemned activities of pipeline vandals in the area, adding that incessant pipeline vandalism was having negative effects on the country’s economic growth.
He urged security agents at the federal and state levels to live up to their duties, by ensuring that the such acts were brought to an end, insisting that the culprits should be dealt with within the law.
According to Akinrinade, IPMAN underscore the immediate effort of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, the Area Commander, Area “M”, Idimu and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Navy.
He, however, urged the security agencies involved in investigating the unpatriotic act to take the investigation to a logical conclusion and justice is served appropriately. “We appeal to the police to do justice and bring the culprits,” he said.
He also called on Lagos State Government, whose duty it is to protect lives and properties within its jurisdiction, to be proactive in protecting the NNPCL pipelines, within the state.
The marketer said the residents also have the duty to protect these critical government infrastructures and provide credible and timely intelligence to IPMAN and security agencies regarding the pipelines.
“We at the Ejigbo Satellite Depot are ready to lend a helping hand to security agents in bringing pipeline vandalism to a halt.
“We have adopted a system that does not encourage vandalism. Security agents close to where pipeline network should also assist in patrolling around the axis,’’ he said.
Akinrinade advised that security agents, saddled with the responsibility of protecting the pipelines, to have relationships with IPMAN executives and the traditional rulers in those communities.
He called on the Federal Government to impose tougher penalties against petroleum pipeline vandals, saying the act affects the socio-economic growth of the nation.
He said that IPMAN also support government’s efforts to ensure that the pipelines were continuously monitored.
According to him, anyone caught, trying to sabotage oil facilities, will be handed over to the law enforcement agency to face appropriate sanctions.
He urged community along pipelines network to always ensure that suspect apprehended are handed over to the security agents.
He assured that IPMAN members would always be ready to support NNPCL, by reporting any suspicious activity around pipelines and other oil and gas facilities.
He stressed that the corporation, on its own part, should do everything possible to ensure the safety of lives and property around its facilities.
Similarly the police command in Lagos State says its operatives have foiled an attempt by hoodlums to steal oil at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Pipeline.
The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, made this known on his verified Twitter handle on Saturday.
He said that the incident happened at 2:00 a.m. at the Idimu area of the state.
Hundeyin said that the hoodlums unlawfully gained access into the site and were siphoning oil from the pipeline into their tanker.
The image-maker said that the police, who got information about the theft, stormed the scene and the thieves abandoned their tools and fled.
“The oil thieves absconded, abandoning their truck and tools, upon sighting police officers who responded swiftly when notified,” he said.
Hundeyin said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Idowu Owohunwa had also visited the scene of theft.