04 August 2014, Auchi, Edo – The Federal Government has commenced demolition of buildings and structures obstructing oil pipelines’ ‘right of way’ across the country, a Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, has said.
The Public Affairs Manager of the company, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday while confirming the demolition carried out on Wednesday in Auchi, Edo State.
Imodagbe said the demolition was ongoing, adding that it had already been carried out in Lagos and some areas in the northern part of the country.
He warned all who encroached on the company’s right of way to vacate such locations and not wait for the demolition team to arrive.
The PPMC spokesman, who said the exercise would not stop until the entire right of way was secured, explained that it was to stem the activities of vandals on the pipelines.
“Government took the decision to keep those areas safe for law-abiding citizens and to safeguard installations and infrastructure built with tax payers’ money.
“Government decided to take this decisive action to clear all illegal structures and establish its right of way.
Our mandate is to clear obstructions to secure the company’s right of way,” he said.
Imodagbe decried the high level of encroachment on the right of way adding that there would be no compensation for those affected in the demolition of structures on it.
He said that those encroaching on the stretch were illegal occupiers of government land, because they had no approval from government before they built on the pipelines’ right of way.
He explained that oil pipelines passed through the right of way and that no structure was expected to be on it.
“Any structure on it is illegal,” he stressed.
Imodagbe said the demolition was being carried out through appropriate government authorities, adding that the illegal structures were being pulled down after contravention notices were served on owners of such buildings.