Host communities in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, at the weekend, assured the Nigerian Gas Company Limited, NGC, of protection of it’s facilities in their communities.
The host communities gave this assurance when the NGC sensitization campaign train on the dangers of gas pipelines right of way encroachment and vandalism hit Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state.
His Royal Highness, Emmanuel Ogah, the Okphe-Ukpi of Ivhiunone Clan, who received staff of NGC at his palace in Fugar, thanked NGC for bringing the campaign to their door steps.
He said, “The awareness campaign is very good one because you are trying to be proactive. As an Engineer myself I know that routine maintenance is better than break down maintenance. This is the best thing to do.
“But like I keep telling NGC the pipelines are very old. They keep getting ruptured. The best thing for the Federal Government to do, if they say they don’t have money, is to fix those old sections of the pipelines that traverse the communities and leave those ones that are not in the communities. We all know that these pipelines are over forty years old.”
Also, the monarch of Oghie Avhianwu Clan, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Jackson Etokhana, on behalf of his people appealed to NGC to make the sensitization campaign a routine part of their activities noting that the campaign has helped his people to be more aware of the dangers involved in encroaching on gas pipeline right of way.
According to Jackson, “I want to thank NGC for bringing this awareness campaign to my Community. We have never seen this kind of thing since we have been in this community.
“Without this campaign that you are doing a lot of people will be encroaching on these gas pipeline right of way because most of them were doing it in ignorance as you can see 70% of my subjects are peasant farmers.
“Most of these pipelines we are talking about run through their farms and houses and if you do not enlighten then about the dangers involved in getting close to these pipelines they will not know.
He also promised to carry the enlightenment campaign to all the nook and cranny of his kingdom.
Also His Royal Highness, Surveyor Thomas Ilogho, the Okpe-Ukpi of Iraokhor, also commended NGC for the campaign saying, “This campaign is apt because there is need for our people to know the dangers involved in the encroachment of gas pipeline. People need to know why they must take care of these facilities.
“These pipelines should also be protected by NGC by putting a bond around them to protect people from encroachment.”
Earlier the Managing Director of NGC Warri, Engr Seyi Omotowa, who was represented by the Public Affairs Manager of NGC, Mr Darlington Samuel, advised those who are farming and building houses on gas pipelines right of way to desist from such actions
According to Omotowa, “We are here to inform and enlighten the people of Fugar communities about the dangers involved in building houses or farming or burning bushes around gas pipeline right of way.
“NGC does not want anybody living around where we have our pipelines to suffer any loss or damage. This is why we have come to inform you and appeal to you to stay clear from our gas pipelines so that nobody will be injured.
“It is very dangerous to burn bushes where there are gas pipelines. If there is a little gas leak in any of these areas, the whole place will be on fire. This is what we are trying to avoid.”
The enlightenment campaign was thereafter followed with a roadshow in some of the communities in Fugar.