Pipe­line van­dal­ism cost Nige­ria $14bn in 2014

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - By Alex Abutu & Seun Adeuyi

The in­abil­ity of the fed­eral govern­ment to prop­erly po­lice oil pipe­lines has re­sulted in van­dal­ism by com­mu­ni­ties and groups that cost Nige­ria $14 bil­lion in 2014.

A civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tion, Stake­holder Demo­cratic Net­work (SDN), said that apart from the loss, pipe­line van­dal­ism im­pacted over 51.500 hectares of land in 2014.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion, at a re­search val­i­da­tion round­table on pipe­line van­dal­ism and de­com­mis­sion­ing of re­dun­dant oil and gas in­stal­la­tions in Nige­ria, noted that the sit­u­a­tion would have been avoided if govern­ment and oil com­pa­nies had taken proac­tive mea­sures.

“Nige­ria’s oil in­dus­try holds 12,714km of oil, gas and re­fined prod­uct pipe­lines to fa­cil­i­tate petroleum ex­trac­tion and trans­porta­tion across the coun­try. The Niger Delta, the source of Nige­ria’s oil wealth, has the high­est in­ci­dences of pipe­line van­dal­ism in the coun­try. Deep feel­ings of anger, re­sent­ment and hope­less­ness run through com­mu­ni­ties as their de­mand for de­vel­op­ment and ba­sic ser­vices from the pro­ceeds of oil has never ma­te­ri­alised,” the group added.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said that enor­mous sums of money are earned from il­licit trade of stolen oil, of­ten set­tled through cash and arm deals, fu­elling a cold war be­tween en­trenched ac­tors and the state.

A call was made to the fed­eral govern­ment to re­view and re­set the re­la­tion­ships be­tween govern­ment, oil­com­pa­nies and com­mu­ni­ties as a first step to tackle pipe­line van­dal­ism, to main­tain oil pro­duc­tion and re­in­force peace in the Niger Delta.

“The new ad­min­is­tra­tion must act quickly to ad­dress ris­ing ag­i­ta­tion and the im­pact of re­duced pa­tron­age flows that in­flame feel­ings of anger, re­sent­ment and hope­less­ness, with var­i­ous heav­ily armed and well-re­sourced in­di­vid­u­als and groups threat­en­ing the se­cu­rity of the oil in­dus­try and na­tional in­come,” the SDN said.

Inemo Samiama, SDN coun­try di­rec­tor, be­moaned that the en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­ages pipe­line van­dal­ism has done in the Niger Delta was im­mense as most com­mu­ni­ties do not fully un­der­stand the im­pli­ca­tion.

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