As part of measures to avert further pipeline explosion in the Niger Delta, stakeholders in the region have called for the replacement of all obsolete oil pipelines in the area.
The views of the stakeholders were expressed during a random interview conducted by The Tide on the growing spate of pipeline explosions resulting in wastage of lives.
Speaking during the interview, President of a pro Niger Delta group, Niger Delta coalition Against Violence, (NDCAV), Comrade Lekia Christian said pipeline explosions in the Niger Delta and most recently the nasty experience at Komkom in Oyigbo Local Government Area in Rivers State were linked to leakages from broken pipelines that spilled out petroleum products.
He said people were tempted to stop the spilled crude and meet their waterlow.
“Pipeline explosion has become a recurrent event in the Niger Delta and lives have always been wasted in these sordid experiences. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government, through relevant institutions, to find a lasting solution to this prevalent issue. Most of the pipelines in the Niger Delta are old and need replacement; something has to be done as a matter of urgency to avert further disasters,” he said.
The NDCAV president also called for improved security and surveilance on the pipelines.
In his views, an environmental sociologist and lecturer in the University of Port Harcourt, Dr Steve Wodu, also blamed the sequence of pipeline explosions in the Niger Delta on obsolete facilities which, he said, constitute serious risk to the lives of the people of the host communities.
He said: “It’s unfortunate that most of the pipelines conveying crude oil in the Niger Delta are yet to be replaced despite the dilapidated status of the facilities. This is totally wrong and constitute big risk to the lives of the people. The NNPC and PPMC should embark on an overhaul of all oil pipeline facilities in the Niger Delta to address the issue of pipeline explosions in the area.
“The negligence of relevant institutions in maintenance of pipelines is an issue of critical concern as it affects the lives of the people negatively. This is a disservice and another worst form of injustice to the people of the Niger Delta.”
It could be recalled that the issue of pipeline explosions was also raised at the Senate plenary recently, following a motion by the Senator representing Rivers South East District, George Sekibo and three others following the recent explosion that claimed lives and properties at Oyigbo.
The Senate, in its ruling, urged the NNPC and PPMC and other relevant agencies in the oil and gas industry to find a lasting solution to the issue.
The Senate also called for a holistic review of all existing pipelines to ascertain the levels of functionalities.
By: Taneh Beemene
COVID-19: FG Only Interested In Rivers Oil Revenue – Lawmaker
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, says the Federal Government has no love for the state, but is only interested in the oil revenue from the state.
Amaewhule stated this when he called on telephone to participate in a live radio programme monitored by our correspondent in Port Harcourt.
Amaewhule, who represents Obio/Akpor Constituency 1 in the state legislature echoed what Governor Nyesom Wike said that it was wrong for the Federal Government to be mounting pressure on oil companies for the purpose of drilling oil even at this time when the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) was ravaging every part of the world.
He commended the state governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for taking the right steps and for being proactive in taking measures aimed at checking the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying, “What the state government has done is in the right direction and it is only important that the Federal Government supports the Rivers State Government in its efforts.
“I want to say that what the governor said in his broadcast that the Federal Government is mounting pressure on oil companies in the state for the purpose of drilling oil only shows how the Federal Government looks at Rivers State. Federal Government only looks at Rivers State as a state that produces oil and brings revenue to the Federal Government.
“The Federal Government has no love for this state and I must say it is quite regrettable that the federal government would look at a state like this that has many multinationals coming in, people coming in from all countries of the world and the Federal Government has not deemed it necessary to bring a testing centre to Rivers State.
“ If there has to be testing centers in this country, about five of them, Rivers State deserves to have one, at least to look at these multinationals coming in, to know their status. That is exactly what the governor is saying. Those who are calling in (phoning into the programme) and supporting the Federal Government are not even thinking far. If these people are coming in from all nooks and crannies of the world, what is their status? Nobody is concerned. We need to know. Have they been tested? What is going to happen if they all flood into the state?”
The State Assembly leader further said, Rivers or any other state that has any case does not need to request assistance form the Federal Government, noting that all the latter ought to do is to be proactive rather than wait till the number of persons infected by the Coronavirus climbs to a certain figure before intervening.
“So much money has been given to Lagos, about N10nillion as we heard. Rivers State Government does not need to make a request. All states that have index cases don’t need to make any request. Federal Government just need to be proactive. Now that the state government is doing so much, all that the federal government needs to do is give support to the state so that whatsoever the state government is doing to make sure that the disease does not spread is maintained; because when that is done, it will reduce the burden of the Federal Government.
“Federal Government will have less work to do because you have a proactive governor like His Excellency, Nyesom Wke. What the Federal Government ought to do is to identify those states that have cases of Covid-19 and give the support in order for them to continue doing what they are doing to curb the scourge.
“If they (FG) don’t do anything and wait for any state to have 50, 100 or 1000 cases before they come, it would have been too late. So I think the Federal Government needs a change of attitude. There should be no politics in this thing because it is a global problem, so all hands must be on deck to tackle this pandemic,” Amaewhule advised.
NYCN Lauds NNPC Over Distribution Of Petroleum Products
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) says it is satisfied with the efforts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) towards ensuring adequate distribution of petroleum products across the country in the past seven days of the lockdown in some states to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Council, in a statement by its President, Comrade Solomon Adodo, said that it had set up a monitoring team to assess the situation following assurances by NNPC of availability of petroleum products after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the lockdown in the affected states.
This, the Council said, resulted in Nigerians embarking on a binge of panic buying of petroleum products, despite advice by the NNPC.
“This development necessitated our team to embark on an independent nationwide exercise to monitor the availability and distribution of petroleum products and from results of our field surveys across the country, we can boldly say that the panic buying was needless.
“The NNPC has kept to its word in ensuring constant and efficient availability of petroleum products at recommended prices despite the bottlenecks occasioned by the lockdown”, the statement stated.
While commending the leadership style of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, the council urged the NNPC to ensure it had more than sufficient petroleum products in thousands of retail outlets across the country and more products stored up in the depots.
PHED Blames Windstorm For Power Outage In Rivers, Others
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc (PHED) has blamed the current power outage being experienced in some parts of the city on the windstorm that occurred last week in Port Harcourt.
This was made known by the Manager, Corporate Communications PHED, Mr John Onyi, in Port Harcourt.
He stated that the windstorm which caused the falling of both high and low tension lines, affected the source of supply from Port Harcourt Main Transmission [Z2] and Port Harcourt Town Transmission [Z4] Stations.
“As a result, Woji, Abuloma, Rumuodomaya, Trans-Amadi, Rainbow, Rumuola and Airport 33kv feeders are out of supply.
“Also, at Port Harcourt Town Transmission Station, the entire station is down due to a fault on 132kv breaker which has affected Rumuolumeni, Borokiri, Amadi Junction, Secretariat, UST, UTC and Silverbird.
“Other areas are; Rumuosi, Rukpokwu, Greater Port Harcourt, UPTH, Bori, Igbo- Etche, Old Oyigbo, Onne, RSTV, and Timber 33kv feeders”, he said.
He added that Cross River State was not left out as Calabar, Amika and Akamkpa 33kv feeders were also affected when ornamental trees fell on top of the feeders which shattered various electrical materials.
According to Onyi, “Champion, Ibesikpo, Abak and Akara 33kv feeders belonging to Uyo Transmission Station were not left out in the natural disaster.
”In Yenagoa, Imiringi, Agudama, Amasoma, Opolo and Government House 33kv feeders were affected by the forced outage”.
The manager, however, said that efforts were already in top gear by PHED technical crew at the various cities to ensure that the faults were fixed in order to restore power to the affected areas.
“PHED, therefore, solicits the understanding and patience of the affected customers while waiting for restoration of power to the affected areas in spite of the statewide restriction of movement”, he said.
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