The Nigerian presidency has said pipeline vandalism is costing the country 105 billion naira (US$660 million) annually, in addition to being responsible for the worsening fuel scarcity being experienced across the country.
The local media Monday quoted an unnamed presidency official as saying the destruction of the pipelines being used to pump petroleum products to depots across the country was hindering the supply of the products.
Nigerians have been experiencing fuel scarcity in recent times, as many filling stations across the country have no fuel to sell.
“The current fuel supply and distribution situation being experienced by Nigerians is traceable to recent vandalism of our products pipeline at Arepo; where Pipeline Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) engineers, who went for repairs were shot and three of them killed. As a result of security challenges, PPMC is yet to gain access to the vandalised points to effect repairs,” the official was quoted as saying.
“PPMC is ready to pump all products to the Depots located in all regions of the country. It is only when the pipelines are not available that they are compelled to use other methods to make the products available. In the absence of security, the vandals have a field day and prevent the pipelines from functioning effectively,” he said.
The over 5,000 kilometres of fuel pipelines crisscrossing Nigeria are regularly attacked by vandals seeking to steal the petroleum products being pumped through them, causing the shutdown of the pipelines.
The latest of such attacks was carried out at Arepo village near Lagos, cutting off supplies from the main Atlas Cove Jetty off the Lagos coast to other parts of the country.