…As NNPC seeks support in curbing oil pipelines vandalism***
The Nigerian Navy (NN) has acquired a Landing Ship Tank (LST) 100 to enhance Nigeria’s maritime environment.
Speaking on Monday at the keel-laying ceremony for the LST at Messrs DAMEN Shipyard Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, said the LST would play crucial roles in Nigeria’s maritime security.
LST are naval ships specially designed to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and supplies onto foreign shores for the conduct of offensive military operations.
They were designed during World War II to disembark military forces without the use of dock facilities or the various cranes and lifts necessary to unload merchant ships.
“Today’s ceremony is a significant step toward actualising the dream of restoring NN’s sea-lift capability, after the Service decommissioned two similar LSTs more than 10 years ago.
“I recall that the Nigerian Government acquired two Type 502 amphibious vessels NNS AMBE and NNS OFIOM, built by HDW German builders in 1978.
“These vessels served the Navy meritoriously in the 1980s-90s, playing significant roles during the ECOMOG intervention Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as other peace support operations in Lebanon.
“The NN’s acquisition of this LST 100 will certainly go a long way in filling the operational gap created by the decommissioning of the two NN ships.”
The CNS noted that the bid for the project was highly competitive, as several other shipbuilding companies tendered for her construction.
“Specifically, the ship will be engaged in the protection of maritime resources and the preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to promotion of global maritime commerce and maritime power projection in Nigerian Maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea at large.
“It is therefore my fervent belief that this Shipyard will complete the construction of the LST with all the attention and due diligence that it deserves, to rekindle our historic relationship and pave way for other areas of collaboration in the future,” he said.
Ibas said that the selection of DAMEN Shipyards to execute the project was based on its track record, engineering as well as a belief in the company’s ability to adhere to the timeline for delivery.
“The Nigerian Navy is confident that you will not only build this Ship in line with the specifications and configuration to the highest standards, but also deliver the project on schedule. Timely delivery is not negotiable,” he said.
The naval chief thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his untiring support for the rejuvenation of the Nigerian Navy fleet since assumption of office.
In the meantime, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday called on Nigerians and security agencies to join its effort at curbing the menace of oil pipeline vandalism in the country.
Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer for Down Stream Operations made the appeal during an inspection visit to the scene of a recent pipeline fire incident at Peace Estate, Baruwa, in Idimu axis of Lagos on Monday.
An explosion occurred on Dec. 5 in the swampy area after some suspected pipeline vandals disrupted the Atlas Cove-Mosimi Pipeline, part of the System 2B Pipeline.
” We are here this morning from NNPC to assess the fire of Dec. 5 at Baruwa village, and what we have seen is that the fire was put out within 24 hours.
“We thank the various agencies of government, the Lagos State Fire Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police and Oilserv, our contractors on the line.
“Everybody came here and joined hands together to put off the fire, and we have resumed pumping of products to Mosimi and Atlas Cove since yesterday.
“So, everything is now under control. We have enough products, so there will be no fear of any scarcity during the Yuletide and beyond,’’ he said.
Adetunji said that some arrests had been made in connection with the vandalism, and investigation was ongoing.
The NNPC official also said that the particular location had become exposed to pipeline vandalism in the past, as the location last year experienced two fire incidents.
“Last year, there was fire outbreak twice in this Baruwa area, and this year, we have had incidences in November and December.
“So, this area is prone to pipeline vandalism. We are doing our best in NNPC to ensure we have security, adequate maintenance and look at our right of way in terms of pipeline integrity.
“We are appealing to the residents here, community leaders and religious leaders to ensure that they also protect our pipelines.
“These are national assets and must be protected by all Nigerians. Security is for everybody and if you see something, say something,’’ he said.
Adetunji said that the NNPC would continue to sensitise communities and Nigerians on the danger of pipeline vandalism, adding that it was prepared to also listen to useful suggestions.
Mr Aloga Ogbogo, the Executive Secretary, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), said that the protection of pipelines should be the responsibility of everybody.
“Anybody who tampers with such critical infrastructure should be apprehended and prosecuted.
“NARTO as an organisation will continue to kick against pipeline vandalism because apart from sabotaging the economy, it also creates artificial scarcity of products,’’ Ogbogo said.
The Chairman of Peace Estate Community Development Association, Mr Omojowo Adedeji, decried the nefarious activities of the vandals.
Adedeji said the community was ready to work with the NNPC and security agencies in curbing activities of oil pipelines vandals in the area.
He also enjoined the NNPC management to clear the swampy areas, to improve visibility and safety of the pipelines.