The Senate ad-hoc Committee on Pipeline Explosion in Komkom, Rivers and Ijegun, Lagos State, on Friday said it was working tirelessly to put an end to such incidents in the country.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir, chairman of the committee, spoke with newsmen shortly after he and other members met with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Alausa.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee is on an assessment and fact-finding visit to Lagos State on the pipeline fire explosion that occurred on July 4 in Ijegun area.
The explosion was caused by activities of vandals siphoning fuel from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company pipelines.
He said: “We are here to condole with the people of Lagos on the unfortunate incident that happened in Ijegun where about 20 people died due to pipeline fire explosion.
“After that, we will move to the site to unravel the mess and find out exactly what happened.
“This is because we want to put a stop to this by looking critically at the root cause of this and report to the Senate and make some copies of the report to the Governor.”
He said that the legislators wanted to make sure that after the report, such incidents would not happen, not only in Lagos but throughout the federation.
In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu, thanked the leadership of the Senate for the swift response to the pipeline fire, which he said was a national issue.
Sanwo-Olu said complaints over the recurring vandalism of the pipelines had been made many times.
He expressed optimism that the resolution of the committee would bring up lasting solutions to the matter.
The governor gave the committee a pictorial and written report already gathered by the state government to further help the members in their mission.
Also, Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Solomon Adeola, said that the Senate would embark on sensitisation programmes for people living in communities where pipelines were laid.
Adeola said: “We are also trying to propagate community policing and alerting people living in such areas to be alert to strange movement within their communities, pending the time a lasting solution is proffered by the Federal Government.”
He described the issue of pipeline fire caused by vandalism as a waste, which would further deplete the natural resources of the country.
He said: “I moved the motion on the Ijegun inferno on the floor of the Senate, and as you are all aware, this is not the first time we will be having explosion from this particular Senatorial district.
“We have had explosions in Ajeromi/Ifelodun, in Ijegun itself, Isolo and so many areas in that environ, but for this that had just happened, lives were lost and property worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
“What we are talking about is the nation’s assets and its resources, and that is why the motion has been made a national issue to find a lasting solution to the challenges.”
NAN reports that the committee was initially established to probe the June 22 pipeline explosion in Rivers.
A member of the committee and Senator representing Lagos West, Solomon Adeola, however, moved a motion that the Ijegun incident should also be captured.
The Senate had directed the NNPC and Pipeline and Product Marketing Company to review the security architecture of its pipelines.
It also directed them to consider the engagement of local communities and vigilantes in the architecture, to protect pipelines from vandalism.