A serial fire outburst on major petroleum products artery operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), in Lagos is causing palpable fear of possible shortage of petrol across major states in the south west and parts of north central.
But the general manager, Group Public Affairs,NNPC, Ndu Ughammadu said the incident would not cause any scarcity.
Ndu told LEADERSHIP that the Corporation has detailed a team of engineers to effect repair of the affected portion of the pipeline when the fire is put off.
He said the pipeline was engulfed by fire about two weeks ago but was immediately contained and repaired only for another point to burst into flames yesterday.
According to him, only satellite depot in Lagos would be affected with supply while the repair work lasted.
The pipeline located in Baruwa, a Lagos suburb receives products from the Atlas Cove and Mosimi and transports to other parts of south west.
LEADERSHIP gathered that after a stakeholders’ meeting, which include Baruwa community representatives, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company, PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC, and Pentagon Security, a private security company put in charge of the pipeline on Saturday June, 15, suspected vandals breached the facility leading to outbreak of fire the next day Monday, June 17.
Narrating the incident to our correspondent, the Baale of Baruwa, Chief Halid Baruwa, said, “We held a crucial meeting with other stakeholders after I reported several infringements on the pipeline.
“Between May and now, I can count about five cases of third party infringement on the pipeline which I promptly reported to the authorities. About two weeks ago, a truck used by the vandals got stuck on the muddy terrain and I informed the commandant of the Lagos State NSCDC, and he arrived at the scene and we took photographs and they took the truck away.”
Continuing, he said, “The PPMC representatives introduced the new security firm to the community and requested that we nominate ten young men to serve as security support personnel on a monthly pay of N35,000.
“I decided to nominate members of the O’odua Peoples Congress, and during the meeting of June 15, they reduced the number to eight, and when we got to the pipeline area, we encountered a set of security men who advised that we should reschedule the resumption date of the new security operatives, and we left only to notice ball of smoke billowing from the pipeline on Monday June 17.”
He said the PPMC and NSCDC were notified and the Lagos State Fire Service was mobilised to put out the fire.
According to him, the fire was finally quenched on Tuesday June 18, following the intervention of the state fire service.
However, yesterday, again, the community was alerted of fresh fire emanating from the pipeline.
Chief Baruwa, told our correspondent who visited the scene, that the security situation in the area was now tense as the vandals were becoming more daring, because of plans initiated by the community to strengthen surveillance around the pipelines.
Confirming the incident, Mrs. Usman, who is in charge of pipeline security with the NSCDC, told our correspondent on phone that they got information about the fresh fire outbreak early yesterday morning and promptly detailed operatives to take charge of security and support the efforts of the fire fighters.