Abuja (Nigeria) — Nigeria says it will deal firmly with people engaged in vandalising its pipeline and power infrastructure that have combined to drastically reduce power generation and transmission, as well as fuel supplies in recent times.
A statement by Special Assistant to Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, quotes the Minister, Lai Mohammed, saying the repeated attacks on oil and gas pipelines and the wilful shutdown of power facilities by protesters amount to economic sabotage which no government will tolerate.
”Vandals, whatever their motives are, cannot and will not be treated
with kid gloves because their actions constitute a clear and present
danger to the nation’s economic, social and political well being. The
attack on the Forcados Export Terminal that has affected gas
production by oil firms and reduced gas supply to power generating
plants and the shutdown of the Utorogu gas plant are totally
condemnable and cannot be allowed to continue.
”Also, while this Administration will not do anything to abridge the
constitutional rights of any individual or group to carry out
protests, it will also not tolerate a situation in which anyone will
hide under the guise of legitimate protests to sabotage power
infrastructure. The shutdown of the national transmission facility in
Osogbo and the Ikeja Disco by some unionists amount to economic
sabotage,” he said.
Mohammed said the government is not unaware that as it steps up
the fight against corruption, corruption will vigorously fight back in
many forms, including the destruction/sabotage of key national
infrastructure to make the government look bad.
”However, nothing will make this government to slow down in its
anti-corruption fight and no one who is corrupt will be spared,” he
The Minister appealed to Nigerians to join hands with the government to check the activities of the vandals.
”When oil and gas facilities are vandalized, the impact is felt
directly by Nigerians. When power infrastructure is sabotaged for
whatever reasons, Nigerians bear the brunt. While those actions may be aimed at discrediting the government, those who pay the price are the vast majority of innocent, law-abiding and well-meaning Nigerians, not just the vandals or the saboteurs. This is why Nigerians must not allow the few recreants behind these attacks to hold sway,” he said.
Mohammed said the power situation is gradually improving as
generation has now increased to around 4,000MW while the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has assured that the prevailing fuel queues will gradually ease in the next few days.