By Michael Eboh
Nigeria has lost a minimum of N8.04 billion since January, to the incessant vandalism of the country’s gas pipelines, according to the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Speaking at a press briefing in Warri, Delta State, the Managing Director, NGC, Mr. Dafe Sejebor, disclosed that since the beginning of this year the country has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the spate of gas pipeline vandalism.
He added that within the last two months, it has recorded three major attacks on its pipeline network, mainly in the Niger Delta region.
According to Sejebor, who was represented by Executive Director, Services, Mr. Joseph Olisa, “whenever these pipelines are sabotaged, we are forced to shut down the pipeline, and we defer a minimum of 200 million Standard Cubic Feet, SCF, of gas per day.”
He put the average price of gas at $3 per unit of1,000 scf, adding that it takes an average of two weeks to repair the damage, and an average of one week to locate the damaged spot and mobilise personnel, equipment and materials to site.
Also, the minimum cost for the repair of a damaged pipeline in the Niger Delta region, according to Sejebor, is about N160 million.
To this end, at an average price of $3/1,000SCF, multiplied by 200 million SCF product loss plus repairs, Nigeria may have lost about N8.01 billion between January and now.
This is put at 1,500 megawatts, as a number of power plants will be deprived of gas to generate electricity.
The NGC boss decried that the recent increase in the spate of vandalism is negatively affecting the economy and the operations of the company.
He said, “The spate of vandalism of our pipelines have been on the increase and this is alarming. We are hurting, especially as it has affected us negatively. It is a willful damage and not as a result of our inability to maintain our pipelines.”
He further stated that the NGC is already holding talks with all its key stakeholders, such as its contractors, security agencies and leaders of communities in its areas of operations, on ways to ensure the safety of the pipelines.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Operations, NGC, Mr. Gabriel Aggrey, argued that the spate of pipeline vandalism in the last three weeks is alarming and queried the rationale for the act of sabotage.
According to him, “we continue to wonder why anyone would want to vandalise a gas pipeline, especially as gas cannot be stolen with a basket.”
Describing vandalism as an act of sabotage , Aggrey condemned the colossal amount the company incurs on repairs whenever a pipeline is sabotaged.