‘Nigeria Lost $14bn To Pipeline Vandalism In 2014’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘Nigeria Lost $14bn To Pipeline Vandalism In 2014’

Posted: Oct 22, 2015 at 8:52 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Innocent Oweh, Abuja

A civil society group, Stakeholders Democracy Network has estimated that the Federal Government and oil companies operating in the Niger-Delta region lost over $14billion dollars to pipeline vandalism in the previous year 2014.

The group which has conducted several independent assessment on the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region, however said such funds should have gone into the coffers of government for development purposes, if it had mechanisms in place to quickly address persistent agitations that arises from the people.

SDN’s Country Director, Inemo Samiama,who gave this assessment on Thursday in Abuja, at a workshop on Research Validation/Roundtable on Pipeline Vandalism and Decommissioning of Redundant Oil and Gas Installations,said the new administration of President Buhari  must act quickly to address rising agitation,especially the impact of reduced patronage flows that inflame feelings of anger,resentment and hopelessness.

He said environmental damage in the oil rich region is immense with an estimated 51,500 hectares of land devastated by spills in 2014 as a direct consequence of pipeline vandalism.

“Pipeline vandalism cost the Nigerian government,oil companies and communities an estimated $14billion dollars in 2014.

“As a first step,Federal Government should review and reset the relationships between government,oil companies and communities to tackle pipeline vandalism to maintain oil production and reinforce peace in the Niger Delta,”he said.

According to Samiama,the new administration must consider alternatives to sole security based response to pipeline vandalism,while maintaining a ‘relationship regulator’ who can mediate and effectively structure the host community and oil companies.

The environmental expert said deliberate efforts by government to reset relationships between stakeholders,particularly the oil companies and host communities would lead to new social contract in the Niger Delta.

“A sustainable approach to tackle pipeline vandalism will develop local institutions and economies,increase employment and lift many out of poverty,”he said.