The incessant and wanton vandalisation of gas pipelines has been identified as the major factor inhibiting the progress of the Gas Project development in the country.
The Group Executive Director (GED), Gas and Power, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dr. David Ige stated this at the Annual Aret Adams Lecture at the Muson Center, last week in Lagos.
Speaking on the theme “Gas: An Engine of Growth for Nigeria”, enumerated the efforts the government had put in place to sustain the production of gas in the country but lamented bitterly that constant vandalisation of gas pipelines was seriously undermining the efforts of the government.
According to him, “Over last six weeks alone we have witnessed massive attacks on our pipelines. There have been over fifty attacks on our pipelines. What that means is that, since the beginning of this year, we have not had four days of uninterrupted work. Our entire network is off and on as a result of pipeline vamdalisation. We wish that this vandalisation should stop to allow us some respite for Nigerians to see the impact of the work we have done so far”
He continued, “Honestly we have not had one week that our entire network is free from vandalisation”
He further stated that the incessant attacks had hampered the full development of the Gas Project in the country and as a result, some countries that import gas from Nigeria were also suffering.
“When a vandalisation takes place, we shut down immediately, that is why countries like Ghana is also suffering because we give them gas too. When we shut down to repair, it takes about ten days to repair and build up the pressure in the pipelines, but by the time we are building up the pressure, they are cutting us off again, the last three months have been the most frustrating , I will say”
He commended the efforts of the Navy and the Joint Tash Force (JTF) and others that saw to the protection of the pipelines but however said that “the Niger –Delta area is very vast and swampy, it will be very difficult to be patrolled constantly”.
Dr. Ige added that the Federal Government is not resting in its oars to continue the development of the Gas Project notwithstanding the many distractions from vandals.
“The Federal Government has doubled the capacity of the Akwaibom – Lagos Excravos pipeline project, we have also started the eastern pipeline project across the Niger and the Calabar- Ajaokuta project is nearing completion”, he said.