The Ijegun oil pipeline disaster | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News

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“The drawing and laying of the NNPC right-of-way for petroleum products’ pipelines were below international standards.” Ijegun Lagos NNPC Nigeria

A man complains losing his bus, his only means of livelihood, to an oil pipeline fire that left two people dead and over 30 vehicles burnt at Ijegun in Lagos, on July 4, 2019. – Two people were killed and over 30 vehicles burnt on July 4 after thieves breached a fuel pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, causing an explosion, emergency services said. The incident, which happened in the early hours in the Ijegun area, is the latest in a long string of such accidents.

Since October 1998 when a pipeline fire disaster killed over 1000 people in Jesse, Delta State, the country has recorded over a dozen pipeline disasters out of which, seven occurred in Lagos State alone while Abia and Delta States recorded two each. Nearly 2000 thousand people perished in the disasters, thousands suffered various degrees of injuries while many are permanently incapacitated. The environmental impact of the disasters on biodiversity cannot be quantified.

The NNPC and its joint-venture partners cannot claim to be ignorant of what the standards require them to do as in other jurisdictions. Certainly, they know but because this is Nigeria, where lawlessness is the norm, the standards are not followed. This carelessness is costing the country so much in terms of human life and material resources.

Were the people made to know and recognize the “pipeline right-of-way? If only the NNPC top officials who seat comfortably in their cozy offices know the “pipeline right-of-way”, how is that known to members of the public? On a major highway, for instance, the spot where pedestrians have right-of-way is usually marked by a zebra crossing.

It is clear from the location of the schools that the NNPC was negligent in enforcing the “right-of-way” of its pipelines. If the corporation had resisted the location of the schools in the first place, the Lagos State Government would not have approved the sitting of the institutions atop the pipelines. The NNPC, in conformity with existing international rules and regulations, has

 

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