The Nigerian state oil company, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has intensified efforts at safeguarding pipelines from vandals and fire outbreaks in line with best safety practices to ensure and sustain steady supply of petroleum products in the country.
Maikanti Baru, group managing director of NNPC, who disclosed this while receiving a delegation of the Occupational Safety and Health Association, (OSHA) UK, Nigeria Chapter, at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, said the Corporation would continue to monitor its pipelines and collaborate with the law enforcement agencies to safeguard such critical national asset.
He said in line with safety standards, NNPC pipelines right-of-way across all locations had been clearly indicated to keep members of the public away from the facilities so as not to come to harm.
“In our various pipelines running across several kilometers and locations, right-of- way is indicated to show that people should not temper with the facility because of the danger that is involved. This is done to ensure that when there is safety breach, we have access to the affected spot and intervene accordingly,” Baru stated.
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He disclosed that an attack on the Port Harcourt – Aba pipeline a few days ago resulted in massive products loss and damage to the environment, adding that though there was no loss of lives in the incident, it took much effort and time to bring the huge fire that broke out under control.
“We will use this opportunity to call on pipeline vandals to please keep away from our pipeline because they are not carrying liquid that can easily be handled like water. We are calling on the general public that when they see the sign on the pipeline, they should not temper with in their own interest and that of the nation,” Baru pleaded.
He said NNPC would stop at nothing to ensure that the pipelines were continuously monitored and that anybody caught trying to sabotage oil facilities would be handed over to the law enforcement agency to face appropriate sanctions, adding that in the Port-Harcourt – Aba pipeline incident one suspect was apprehended and handed over to the authorities.
Baru urged members of the public to support NNPC by reporting any suspicious activity around pipelines and other oil and gas facilities, stressing that the Corporation, on its own part, would do everything possible to ensure the safety of lives and property around its facilities.
Shedding light on NNPC’s safety practice, Baru said that in view of the complex and technical nature of its operations, the corporation accords safety a special priority.
“We are very much determined to ensure that our processes and procedures meet the highest safety standard. Dealing with inflammable liquids and gasses requires utmost care. Our watchword to ensure that is: Safety to one is safety to all; that defines how we handle safety issues,” he stressed.
He said NNPC held HSE Week annually across its subsidiaries to sensitise personnel, contractors and visitors on the need to adhere strictly to its safety standards, adding that the corporation’s safety policies and procedures were reviewed regularly to comply with the highest safety standards.
Speaking at the event, Dalhatu Mohammed Ahmed, the leader of the delegation and Regional President of OSHA, Nigeria Branch, stated that the purpose of their visit was to carry the GMD along in their drive to ensure safety of workers and equipment in view of the position occupied by the NNPC in the Nigerian economy as one of the largest employer of labour and major revenue earner.
Dr. Ahmed applauded the GMD for his numerous initiatives to ensure safety of staff and assets across the corporation’s value chain.