BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Pipeline surveillance: PINL condemns moves to undermine operations

...As community hails firm's effort

Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL), a national asset protection company, has condemned alleged attempts by some agents through their proxies to undermine its effort in its areas of operations.

Addressing journalists Thursday at Angiama Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, a Community Guard with Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, Layefa Toikumoh, explained that the media engagement was organised to set the records straight and correct alleged mischief by detractors to sabotage its work.

Whilst noting that in partnership with the security agencies, PINL has identified flash points of illegal bunkerers and also closed most of such sites in Odua, Oworovor, Okoma, Karama, Kalakolu, Oruma, Otuega, Agbura, Agonbri, Ikiamagbene, Ikiayagbri, Obololo, Kpologbene, Egbema and other communities in Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo and Abia States.

Toikumoh said: “A core strategy of our modus operandi is to meaningfully and constructively engage and work with critical stakeholders in communities in our areas of responsibility (AOR) to put an end to the grand theft of crude oil and other related products and as well curtail if not wipe out completely its attendant damage to our environment and ecology.”

He further said: “It is a well-known fact that reactionary forces will always pull up strategies to fight back, akin to corruption fighting back. We call on these persons to stop forthwith or be prepared to face the full weight of the law as enabled in our terms of engagements.

“We are also calling on all critical stakeholders in our areas of operations, to partner with us to restore normalcy in this critical sector of our nation’s economy. The nation and especially the Niger Delta cannot afford criminality under any guise to continue, as our people are in the front line of the negative consequences of their nefarious activities.

“We are aware that there is a thriving ecosystem that gives lives to the activities of these oil thieves, we are by this press conference, sending out a final message for them to retrace their steps and seek sustainable livelihood, or else, as mandated by Mr. President, the law will have no mercy on them.”

Meanwhile, the people of IIelema Community in Asari Toru Local Government Area of River have hailed PINL for showing exceptional capability it executing the job so far.

Read also: Oil companies lose N803bn to sabotaged pipelines

Some indigenes of Angiama Community, who staged solidarity protest during the media briefing, carried placards with inscriptions such as, “We support and endorse the work of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited”, “Pipeline Infrastructure has done well to curtal oil theft and illegal bunkering in our area/communities” as well as “we support pipeline infrastructure in curbing illegal bunkering and protecting our environment and ecology.”

Chairman of Ilelema Council of Chiefs in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Alabo Kingsley S. Igbanibo, who spoke through Philip Okere, on Friday, January 20, commended the Federal Government, through NNPCL, for awarding the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) to PINL, so as to end the menace of illegal bunkering, which had placed the communities in great danger.

He also gave plaudits to the management of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL) “for their robust community relations and engagement with respect to maintenance and security of Trans Niger Pipeline,” adding that “Over the years, we have worked with other organisations, but PINL has shown an exceptional capability in the management of the above-mentioned pipeline segment, that traverses our communities.”

Igbanibo, added: “With support of the communities, PINL has made history with steady progress being made in the process of recovering and stabilising the hitherto abandoned Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) in-spite of the daunting security challenges and agitations in our communities in Niger Delta in general.

“I wish to specifically express our profound appreciation to PINL in the following key areas:

“The peace building effort of PINL in complementing the efforts of government at various levels in Rivers State as well as the host communities in particular through meaningful engagement of a considerable chunk of unemployed youths in the surveillance of the pipeline and regular clearing of the pipeline right of way in the communities.

“The excellent welfare package for the host community guards, including regular and prompt payment of monthly allowances and provision of PPES in compliance with HSE regulations in the oil and industry.

“The trust and confidence built with the youths and elders of the host communities through transparency, open channels of communication and the regular town hall meetings, thus giving us (the host community leaders, woman and youth) a sense of belonging as well as making us advocates of the pipeline project.”