By Chris Ochayi
ABUJAâ€”The Minister ofÂ Â Petroleum, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman said yesterday that the Federal Governmentâ€™s target of generating 6,000 megawatt of electricity by the end of 2009 may be hampered by pipeline vandalisation.
Dr. Lukman disclosed this yesterday while briefing the Senateâ€™s Committee on Gas on the efforts made by the ministry in the implementation of the gas masterplan.
He said gas is crucial to power generation but expressed fears that the proposed 6000 megawatts may be hampered by activities of vandals who cut off supplies to power generating stations across the country.
He said, â€œThe proposed six thousand megawatts of energy targeted for end of 2009 hangs on the ability to check vandalization of pipelines. The rampant vandalisation of the Escravos-Lagos pipelines is a critical example that disrupted gas supply in this country.â€
Allaying fears that the Federal Government has already put in place strategies to secure the pipelines from vandalisation, he however, tasked the National Assembly to provide a legal framework to further protect the pipelines.
â€œIf we produce oil, we have to invest in new developments in the sector. Money is now being employed into the development of infrastructure.
Something is being done to safeguard the pipelines from being vandalized. There is the need for a legal framework or legislation to further assist in safeguarding the facilities.
â€œOur pipelines are presently vulnerable. We are happy that the government is taking steps to secure some key infrastructures”.
It is useless when we collect gas and cannot circulate it to the areas of demand. The pipelines have to be secured. We are happy to know that something is being done,â€ he added.