11 April 2015, Lagos – The Petroleum Tanker Driver branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has advocated for a stringent legislation that will checkmate the activities of pipeline vandals across the country.
In an interview with Vanguard in his Ibadan office, the National Chairman of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Comrade Otunba Salimonu Akanni Oladiti said the ways vandals are treated when caught leaves much to be desired.
Oladiti said that anybody caught vandalizing pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should treated as one who wants to sabotage the economy. He suggested a 30 year jail term without any option of fine for anyone caught in the act of vandalizing pipelines.
He told Vanguard that billions of Naira are lost to the unscrupulous Nigerians who are out to make quick money without caring about the consequences on the economy
Said he, “What can solve the efficient distribution of petroleum products is for the government to tackle the issue of NNPC’s right of way, if they want to privatise, it is fine and good.
“There should be a strict law that will guard and guide these storage facilities including the pipelines.
“The law should be such that anybody caught damaging property belonging the Federal Government should be arrested and charged for economic sabotage but there are no such laws that can take care of vandals for a long time.
“The damage these vandals are causing Nigeria and Nigerians is more than the havoc of Boko Haram; in a situation whereby the government is losing billions of Naira to vandals on daily basis is unacceptable.“I believe that if the government wants anything done, it will be done.
“If the President calls the General Officer Commanding, (GOC), and the Assistant Inspector General of Police in any of the zone and tell them that if there is theft of any drop of petroleum product in their domain, they will be held responsible, the issue of pipeline vandalism will stop.
“Our security is very efficient; all they need is directives and funding to protect these pipelines. The law should be such that there will be no option of fine and anybody caught should be given 30 years in prison so as to deter other from going into such unwholesome business,” he said.