Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, Information Officer, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Wednesday allayed the fears of residents of Ijegun-Imore, Lagos, over suspected leakage from a repaired petroleum pipeline.
Farinloye spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) against the backdrop of the residents of the community raising the alarm that petrol was still leaking from the just-repaired pipeline.
The residents, just returning to the community after the petrol spill from a ruptured pipeline on Jan. 26, said on Monday that they noticed the pipeline was still leaking after the repairs.
The spokesman for the community, Chief Nurudeen Olu-Fatumbi, had told NAN the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and NEMA had repaired the ruptured pipeline and assured them of their safety.
Olu-Fatunbi had said there was the need for NNPC to send inspectors there again, for effective repairs and proper clean-up.
“We noticed that the pipes are still leaking and all the workmen of NNPC have already moved out with their tools and equipment, including their trucks.
“We are appealing to the authorities of NNPC, to return to the site and confirm this leakage because we do not want the community to be accused of any pipeline vandalism,” he said.
But Farinloye told NAN on Wednesday that what was noticed by the residents was known as underground water due to the nature of the area and not petrol as the people feared.
He said that due to the alarm raised by the community, proper investigation was carried out by NEMA and the NNPC workmen on site.
“As I speak with you, there is no need for any alarm, what is noticed is what is called underground water, the fuel leakage has been stopped, no cause for alarm,’’ he said.
An official of the NNPC on site, who did not want his name in print, also told NAN that what was noticed, was water due to the swampy nature of the area.
“There is nothing leaking here, anything we have around here is just water because it is a swampy area, the water is just coming out of the ground.
“What we are doing now is cleaning up the polluted area, and the leakage has been stopped since Jan. 31 by 4.05 pm.
“Definitely water will come out around the pipe due to the swampy nature of the area but it is not fuel, we are pumping the water out,’’ the source said.
He said that NNPC had gone round the community to give residents assurance and to sensitise them that there was no problem of fuel leakage around the area. (NAN)