Gombe - No fewer than 5 000 pipeline points were vandalised in Gombe state from 2008 to date, an official of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has said.
Abdullahi Gunda, the Area Manager of PPMC, Gombe, said this in Gombe on Thursday at the stakeholders' meeting on anti-vandalism and protection of critical government infrastructure and national assets
The manager, who presented a paper entitled: “The Economic Effects of Vandalism of Pipelines”, said the company had to spend huge sums of money in repairing the vandalised points.
"It is a very serious matter; the resources lost in this course could have been channelled to other socioeconomic activities which will benefit the citizenry.
"In the process of pipelines vandalism, petroleum products are stolen, wasted and spilled; this results in heavy economic loss to the country,” Gunda said.
According to him, reports from the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), showed that about 150 000 barrels of crude oil were stolen daily from the pipeline system.
"By NEITI estimation, Nigeria lost about N10 billion between 2008 and 2011; that is a gazette report,” he said.
He said efforts were being made to revive the 629 kilometres Jos-Gombe-Maiduguri pipeline system so that the company would resume transportation of petroleum products through it.
The manager said transporting petroleum products through the road resulted in lot of losses, compared to transporting it through the pipeline, which he said was cost-effective, efficient and safe.
Gunda stated that the economic effects of vandalism on pipelines included destruction of pipelines, loss of crude petroleum and products, environmental degradation, heavy wear and tear of road infrastructure.
The manager said the company would soon resume transportation of petroleum products through pipeline.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the meeting included officials’ of National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Army and the Police.
Others were National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Prisons Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, Mobile communication service providers, among others.