As scarcity of fuel persists, the Presidency yesterday revealed that petroleum distribution pipelines worth about N1.4 trillion ($9bn) have been rendered useless by vandals.
A Presidency official told reporters off record that pipelines vandals have held the country hostage cutting fuel supply chains to most parts of the country.
The Presidency official also said the Federal Government is losing about N105 billion every year through activities of the vandals.
He said “the current fuel supply and distribution situation being experienced by Nigerians is traceable to recent vandalisation of our products pipeline at Arepo; where Pipeline Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) engineers who went for repairs were shot and three of them killed. As a result of security challenges, PPMC is yet to gain access to the vandalised points to effect repairs”.
According to the source, the damaged pipeline “is along the Atlas Cove-Mosimi line that feeds five depots and accounts for products supply to the whole of the southwest region and also contributes to about 60 percent of total bridging to the North”.
He said fuel distribution has become a daunting task as government finds it difficult to cover the entire country through bridging by use of trucks.
“PPMC is ready to pump all products to the depots located in all regions of the country. It is only when the pipelines are not available that they are compelled to use other methods to make the products available. In the absence of security, the vandals have a field day and prevent the pipelines from functioning effectively,” he said.
The source also blamed the fuel scarcity on reluctance of Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN) to continue the importation of PMS and other products, as a result of the non-payment of subsidy money due to them by the ministry of finance.