The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has solicited the support of traditional rulers and other stakeholders to curtail oil theft and resulting incidents of pipeline explosions.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari made the call during a visit to the scene of the pipeline explosion at Ilepo in the Abule-Egba area of Lagos to assess the level of damage.

Kyari, denounced the health, environmental and other hazards caused by the vandals, especially the loss of lives, and appealed for synergy of security agencies, traditional leaders, residents and all well-meaning Nigerians in curtailing the ugly trend.

He expressed the keenness of the Corporation to collaborate with security agencies and traditional leaders to knock out structures that are within the bounds of its Pipelines Right of Way (PROW) in order to reduce the incidences of pipeline infractions, insertions and curb petroleum products theft.

Kyari said anybody who was associated with pipeline vandalism either directly or indirectly, including residents of the immediate community, would henceforth face the full wrath of the law.

He also disclosed that the pipeline which was previously shut down to contain the damage, has now been fully restored.  He added that Petroleum products are flowing all the way from Atlas Cove to Mosimi and to Ilorin Depot, urging everyone to work with the corporation for sustainability.

The GMD expressed appreciation to all the emergency response agencies in Lagos for their quick response and for putting out the fire, emphasizing that distribution of petroleum products has been restored and that there was no cause for alarm.

Kyari appealed to the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu 1, to rally all the traditional leaders in the state to help secure the pipelines, stressing that collective effort was required to curb the menace.

On his part, Oba Akiolu guaranteed his support to organise other Obas in the state to fight pipeline vandals to a standstill.

Speaking on behalf of all the security agencies in Lagos, Flag Officer, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, said that the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies working under “Operation Mesa” were scaling up their operations to ensure that pipelines across the nation were safe and secured and to avoid recurrence of pipeline explosion.


The Guardian