The Senate has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and Pipeline and Product Marketing Company, PPMC to improve its security architecture for its pipelines as a means of bringing to an end increasing cases of pipeline explosions in the country.
This resolution according to Nation online was made following Senator Solomon Adeola of Lagos West who adopted a motion titled “Ijegun pipeline explosion: Urgent need to prevent pipeline vandalism and explosion resulting in deaths and massive destruction of property”.
Adeola in his lead debate noted the disastrous pipeline explosion in Ijegun, Alimosho Local Government in the early hours of Thursday, July 4th, 2019. He noted that in the ensuing inferno, 12 persons were burnt to death, over 40 persons sustained various degree of burns, 30 vehicles were burnt, two secondary schools namely Ijegun Junior and Senior Secondary School, 20 other buildings as well as goods worth millions of naira were all destroyed in the fire.
The lawmaker said that he is aware that the immediate cause of the pipeline explosion was the activities of oil thieves’ vandalisation of pipelines for siphoning of petroleum products adding that the pipeline explosion in Ijegun followed the pattern of similar explosion at Abule- Egba, Ajeromi- Ifelodun in Lagos State on Wednesday December 19, 2018 and elsewhere with similar huge losses.
Also, Senator Oluremi Tinubu in her contribution said that Lagos State should be assisted in term of infrastructure adding that the special status bill for Lagos State should be reintroduced. She noted that over 50 per cent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) collected in the country came from the state.
Meanwhile, the upper chamber also enjoined the bodies to reconsider the engagement of communities and local vigilantes in its security architecture noting that the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and the Federal Ministry of Health, needed to urgently come to the aid of families in distress at Ijegun and environs as well as attend to the medical needs of those that were hospitalized.
If further agreed that the Ijegun pipeline explosion should be added to the investigative mandate of the ad-hoc committee set up by it on Rivers State explosion in view of their similarities and occurrence at almost the same period of time.