Abuja,- The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has called for the establishment of pipeline protection agency to monitor and reduce pipelines vandalism.
NUPENG General Secretary, Mr Issac Aberare, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the incoming administration should take the establishment of such agency as priority.
He said that the establishment of the agency had become imperative due to frequent destruction of pipelines across the country.
“The attitude of the people who vandalise oil pipelines for pecuniary gains has robbed the nation of billions of dollars that should have been used for development.
“This must be stopped, because pipeline vandalism causes environmental degradation and pollution.
“If the agency is established, it will be responsible for the monitoring; protection and salvaging of about 5, 000km stretch of pipelines that traverse Nigeria.
“The agency should also be provided with modern technologies, sophisticated weaponry to properly guard the pipeline,’’ he said.
Aberare urged the incoming administration to ensure that local refineries were maintained.
He also urged the incoming government to establish more refineries to reduce fuel importation especially now that the price of the commodity had fallen at the international market.
According to the NUPENG scribe, there is need to build more refineries to refine crude oil products to meet the local demand and for export to neighboring countries to generate foreign currency.
“Government must make sure that the pipelines supplying products from the main source to outlets are working to lessen the movement of trucks on the highways.
“For instance, if the pipeline supplying products from Lagos to Kaduna or Gusau is working, no truck coming from there would block the Apapa road.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate the roads leading to the depots in various states of the federation to reduce road mishap.
Meanwhile, Aberare has expressed concern over the division among members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), saying the situation was creating confusion at the state councils.
“I want to say that this is a minus for the labour movement.
“We hope that the veterans of the labour movement will step into this matter quickly and resolve it in the interest of the Nigerian workers. (NAN)