By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG & DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA—The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, yesterday said it had beefed up security around the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipelines at Arepo in Obafemi Owode Local Government where pipeline explosion killed several people recently.
This came as Nigeria Union of Petroleum and natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, called for the establishment of Pipelines Protection Agency to protect and provide security for the over, 5,150 kilometres stretch of oil pipelines spanning through the nooks and crannies of the country
Confirming the development, the state NSCDC, Public Relations Officer, Kareem Olanrewaju, told Vanguard that security had been beefed up.
Olanrewaju said: “We are not going to do it the way it was being done before; it is no longer business as usual,” and he said that NSCDC would need support from both NNPC and the state government to discharge its responsibility.
According to him, “there is no way we will not need support from the government and NNPC. They need to provide enough logistics, like special flat bottom boat. We also need NNPC to clear the place for us to see clearly the area from afar and secure the pipelines.”
Meantime, NUPENG, in a statement, yesterday, said the continuous pipelines vandalism was unpatriotic despite the danger of blow-out, saying, “the pipelines vandalism in Arepo area is one vandalism, too many.”
NUPENG in the statement through its Acting General Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare said: “The union calls for a 24-hour surveillance of the Arepo end, as the swampy area should be cleared, so that there will be visibility, instead of the present bushy environment, where the pipelines traverse.
NUPENG calls on the special unit of the anti-pipelines vandalisation squad in the office of the Inspector – General of Police to be alive to its responsibility in monitoring, intelligence gathering of the System 2B area, which carries fuel from the Atlas Cove to Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Kwara states.
“The present arrangement of using the NSCDC has not yielded any positive result and the country continues to lose billions of crude and refined products to vandals and loss of its citizens’ lives.