The Lagos State Government has reemphasised its commitment to ensuring that residents of the state are safe and protected from avoidable loss of lives and properties due to ignorance, disobedience, and unlawful practices relating to pipeline vandalism across the state.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Sholabomi Shasore, stated this recently at a Stakeholders’ Forum/Public Enlightenment programme organised by the state government for Oil and Gas Pipeline hosting communities in Amuwo Odofin, Abule Ado, Ori Ade, Festac and Satellite Town.
While addressing participants at the event, Engr. Shasore called on residents of Amuwo-Odofin, Abule Ado, Ori Ade and Festac to be more vigilant and ensure that any suspicious move or attempt to vandalise the pipelines are promptly reported to the government and other relevant authorities.
The Permanent Secretary was represented at the stakeholders forum with the theme: “Preventing Recurring Explosions and Vandalism on Petroleum Products Pipeline in Lagos State”, by the Head of the Oil and Gas Department in the Ministry, Engr. Sesan Odukoya.
Shasore, who decried the numbers of avoidable loss of lives and properties claimed by the illegal activities of pipeline vandals, said that the State Government intends to bring to the minimum, incidences of fire outbreaks from pipeline vandalisation.
According to her, stakeholders’ engagement is one of the avenues being explored by the Ministry to nip the incident in the bud through sensitisation and communal efforts.
She expressed the hope that the enlightenment session which is one in the series will assist in raising the consciousness of residents of the areas to the associated risks that might emanate from pipelines carrying petroleum products if adequate care and safety measures are not put in place.
Earlier, the Vice Chairman of Amuwo-Odofin LG, Mrs. Maureen Asahara and the Secretary to Ori-Ade LCDA, Mr. Rasak Akorede applauded the Sanwo-Olu-led Administration for prioritising the well-being of Lagosians, pleading that the enlightenment session should be sustained and extended to other parts of the State.
On his part, a Deputy Director with Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Engr. Richard Davies in his presentation said that man-made actions are majorly responsible for the explosion of pipelines, stressing that the pipelines can not burst on their own without human activities and interferences.
He advised residents of Festac, Amuwo-Odofin and the environs to ensure they observe the stipulated Right of Ways from the locations of pipelines to reduce loss of lives and properties that may arise from pipeline explosion.
Presenting a Paper on “Safety Around Petroleum Products Pipeline Locations”, a Director with the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Festus Tedowede, urged Lagosians across the State to always indulge in wide consultation and thorough findings before embarking on erecting structures by liaising with the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development for professional advice.
Participants at the event pleaded with the State Government to ensure that there is a prompt response whenever an alarm is raised about activities of pipeline vandalization in any part of the State.
The stakeholders’ forum was also attended by some top government officials, CDCs, market men and women, traditional rulers, youth representatives and representatives of NEMA among other relevant stakeholders.