Toju Vincent 18 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Residents of the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Alimosho and those at Peace Estate in Isheri Olofin area of Lagos are worried by frequent leakages being experienced from dilapidated petroleum products pipelines in the areas.
The most recent leakage occurred two days ago with residents fearing over their safety as the smell of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) enveloped the entire area of Isheri Olofin to Diamond estate.
As the leakage started early Monday afternoon, residents in Peace Estate estate quickly alerted officials of the Lagos State Fire Service and Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Egbe-Idimu LCDA Honourable Sanyaolu Olowoopejo, the management of the Council has been having sleepless nights over the issue of petrol pipeline leakage, which according to him, has plagued the area for well over a year.
Olowoopejo said the leakage had been happening on a regular basis, adding that the entire pipelines needed to the replaced.
About nine months ago, there was a similar problem, and officials of the NNPC came around to carryout repair works, he said, adding that the only solution to the frequent leakages is to remove the old pipelines and replace them with new ones.
“The best thing to do is to find a way to remove the old pipelines completely and put new ones that will last for another 20 years or more. Anything short of that will result to same problem reoccurring again and again and the lives and properties of the people residing in this area are at risk.
“We have been having sleepless nights over this issue, I was out on another official duty when I was informed of this current leakage and I had to cut short my meeting to rush down here and ensure that the lives of people are not at risk. I am very frustrated by the attitude of the officials of the NNPC because I fear for the lives and properties of people that live in this Community,” he said.
He disclosed that the Council has filed a case in court against NNPC, adding that the corporation knows what to do but has refused to do the right thing.
In similar vein, the Chairman of the Peace Estate Community Development Association (CDA), Mr. Henry Nwajei said series of protest letters have been sent to both the Lagos State and Federal governments, the Senate, and other agencies that deal with environmental issues.
He disclosed that whenever there is a leakage, the community spends its money to buy chemicals for officials of the Lagos State Fire Service to douse the effect of the spill.
Nwajei disclosed that water from bole holes in the community have been polluted as a result of the leakages and residents have resorted to buying water from other places.
According the Secretary of the CDA, Mr. Lukmon Bankole, the current leakage is coming from three different points, two of which have been blocked while the last one is yet to be attended to.