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Government vows to deal with pipeline vandals, saboteurs

 Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has vowed to deal ruthlessly with individuals or groups engaged in pipeline vandalism and the sabotage of power infrastructure in the country.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this in Abuja noted that pipeline vandalism and the sabotage of power infrastructure have combined to drastically reduce power generation/transmission as well as fuel supplies in recent times, thereby inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians.

He observed that 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.

According to him, ‘’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.

He said, “ 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.’’

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 added.

The Minister appealed to Nigerians to join hands with the government to check the activities of the unscrupulous and unpatriotic elements who have taken it upon themselves to continuously work against the interest of the people.

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.

Alhaji 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, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, has assured that the prevailing fuel queues will gradually ease in the next

This is coming as a former Commissioner of works, housing and transport and now special adviser to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, Mohammed Yahaya Wada has alleged that the Farin Ruwa Hydro electric power project awarded under former governor and now Senator, Abdullahi Adamu was shrouded with fraud and corruption.

Wada said the present administration was forced to stop financing the project due to the high level of fraud involved in the deal.

Farin Ruwa Hydro electric power project was a conduit for siphoning the resources of Nasarawa State.”
Wada’s revelation is coming on the heels of accusation by a former member of the house of Representatives in the state, Hon. Ahmed Aliyu Wadada that Almakura neglected the project due to lack of policy direction and insensitivity to projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the masses.

The former Commissioner who briefed some selected Journalists in Lafia on Friday said the processes leading to the award of the project , were shady and conceived to defraud the state.

He explained that the contract was awarded at the cost of N5.4 billion in 2004 based on the conceptual design of an exaggerated projection of providing 20 megawatts of electricity and after proper review it was discovered that the projection was not properly or sincerely done.



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