By George Onah
Port Harcourt – Shell Petroleum Development Company has raised alarm over the spate of vandalization of its pipelines in the Niger Delta region, to the effect that 22 spills of pipeline vandalism has been recorded between January and February this year.
SPDC said it has over 6,000 kilometers of pipelines across the country and does not possess the capability to protect the pipes, calling on the country’s security agencies to intensify efforts in halting the destruction.
Representative of Encroachment Operations Afahron Sekobi told the press in Port Harcourt, that there was “great danger to the lives and property of the people in tampering with the pipelines”.
But the company acknowledged that the socio-political situation such as volatile political environment, unconscionable poverty and low quality of life as well as petty and organized criminality, were responsible for the problems.
Sekobi said it was as a result of the level of destruction of its pipelines and encroachment on the right of way of the pipeline that it approached the Rivers State Government for aid, through the community leaders, security and youth outfits.
The company listed its challenges in this direction to include urbanization, lack of access roads, low response of security and law enforcement outfits and inefficient prosecution.
On its part the Rivers State Government’s committee on protection and preservation of pipelines right of way announced that its efforts in sensitizing the populace on the danger of vandalization of pipelines and encroachment on the pipes right of way was yielding fruits.