By Clara Nwachukwu
In a bid to combat the rising rate of pipeline vandalism in the country, the Federal Government has employed the services of about 12,000 youths from various communities in the Niger Delta, that cut across the pipelines right of way.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the move was in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to protect the over 5,000 kilometres of vital crude and petroleum products pipelines across the country as well as other key oil facilities, to consolidate and guarantee the effective sustenance of the laudable achievements in the oil and gas sector within the last 12 months.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, in a statement, yesterday, quoted the Minister as saying that the employment of the youths will help ensure adequate protection and security of the nation’s strategic oil and gas assets.
The Minister further explained that the pipeline surveillance scheme was initiated by the Petroleum Ministry under her watch, as an integral part of the on-going Federal Government’s amnesty and re-habilitation programme for Niger Delta youths.
Part of the complaints against the Amnesty Programme had been the redundancy of the youths, after undergoing training programmes, a development government promised to find solution to as soon as possible.