By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
The Senate on Tuesday summoned the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, to appear before its Committee on Petroleum Resources, over the spate of pipeline vandalism across the country.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stated this after the chairman of an ad hoc committee on the explosion that rocked NNPC pipelines in Rivers and Lagos States recently, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, presented his report on the floor of the Senate.
The report had indicted unnamed officials of the NNPC, Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company and those of the firm securing the facilities of allegedly conniving with vandals to sabotage the nation.
It specifically alleged that some of the officials were aware of the Komkom pipeline leakage in Rivers State, two days before the explosion but delayed in taking necessary action.
The President of the Senate wondered why officials of government would be conniving with criminals involved in vandalising oil pipelines.
He said those involved should be sanctioned, arrested and prosecuted after a thorough investigation.
Lawan directed the Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream) to invite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with a view to ensuring a review of security measures for pipelines in parts of the country.
He also said the National Assembly will amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act to prevent the activities of pipeline vandals that leads to explosions and deaths.
Lawan said: “Our Committee on Petroleum (downstream) should invite the NNPC with a view to know what they have been doing over the years to secure the pipelines; what measures are in place and whether there is need to review these agreements.
“This is a multi-billion dollar industry. People consciously do these things, it’s not an accident. Those who are caught in the fires or who come to scavenge are the ones who end up losing their lives. This is not acceptable.
“There must be sanctions, somebody will have to pay the price and of course, after these resolutions are sent to the executive, our committee must follow it up.
“When we have to amend the NOSDRA Act, this is something that we have to do expeditiously. We should do it because it will help in preventing or minimising the reoccurrence of these criminal acts.”