Stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Industry have blamed the spate of pipeline vandalism on the high rate of unemployment in the country. This was said by Afe Alese Iguoba, a retired Deputy Comptroller (DC) of Customs at an event organised by the National Association of Energy Correspondents(NAEC) with the theme “Pipeline Vandalism and its Socio-Economic Effects on the Nation” in Lagos, last week. He said that Oil explorations without due compensations to the communities involved left the communities poor and psychologically frustrated which pushed them to explore other avenues to gain back a little from what is theirs and thus engaged in vandalising oil pipelines.
Chief Iguoba said that oil exploration is war against host communities and charges anyone to take a trip to the communities and confirm for themselves while advising that relevant stakeholders should organise a forum where the communities will be adequately compensated for the losses they had suffered.
Also speaking at the event is Deji Haastrup, the representative of Robert Neff, the Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria who mentioned that Pipeline harvesting, is a process of vandalizing pipelines just to sell the products poses.
He also mentioned deliberate vandalism which entails that the vandals destroy pipelines in order to be contracted to repair and clean up the area, He further mentions sabotaging the pipelines as a way of sending message to the appropriate authorities and then for stealing crude which he said was the main cause of vandalism. He beckons on all to take drastic actions to a meaningful venture.
On the other hand, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Energia Limited spoke extensively on the economic and environmental implications of pipeline vandalism and posited that Nigerians have really suffered a lot in terms of revenue loss, loss to life and property, and degradation of the environment and calls on every one to help tackle the menace of unemployment in the country so as to reduce the menace to the barest minimum.
He further stated that there should be a workable platform where apprehended pipeline vandals are re-educated before they are re-integrated into the society so that their mindset of being at liberty with a lot of money would be corrected so that they will fit into the system.