Nigeria has lost about of N8.04 billion since New Year due to the incessant vandalism of gas pipelines across the country, says the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Mr. Joseph Olisa, NGC Executive Director, Services while briefing journalists in Warri, Delta State expressed dismay that since the beginning of this year the country has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the spate of gas pipeline vandalism, at a detrimental monetary cost on the nation.
He added that within the last two months, it has recorded three major attacks on its pipeline network, mainly in the Niger Delta region. “The spates of vandalism of our pipelines have been on the increase and this is alarming. We are hurting, especially as it has affected us negatively. It is a willful damage and not as a result of our inability to maintain our pipelines,” Mr. Olisa said.
He explained that “whenever these pipelines are sabotaged, we are forced to shut down the pipeline, and we defer a minimum of 200 million Standard Cubic Feet, SCF, of gas per day.”
According to him, it takes an average of two weeks to repair the damage, and an average of one week to locate the damaged spot and mobilise personnel, equipment and materials to site; thereby bringing the minimum cost for the repair of a damaged pipeline in the Niger Delta region to about N160 million.
At an average price of $3/1,000SCF, multiplied by 200 million SCF product loss plus repairs, he says, Nigeria may have lost about N8.01 billion between January and now. “This is put at 1,500 megawatts, as a number of power plants will be deprived of gas to generate electricity”.
He further stated that the NGC is already holding talks with all its key stakeholders, such as its contractors, security agencies and leaders of communities in its areas of operations, on ways to ensure the safety of the pipelines.
By Olisemeka Obeche