Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has sympathised with victims of Sunday’s explosion which occurred at Abule Ado near Festac Town, Lagos State.
Kyari also reiterated the NNPC’s commitment to removing all structures on the NNPC pipelines right of way across the country to prevent such incidents in future.
Kyari spoke during an inspection visit to the scene of the explosion which led to the death of 15 persons and destruction of over 70 buildings in the area.
No fewer than 60 students of Bethlehem Girls College located within the area who sustained various degrees of injuries in the incident were also taken to the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Ojo Cantonment for treatment.
He said: “We are here to commiserate with the good people of Lagos State on what happened. It is very unfortunate but completely avoidable.
“It is very obvious that people are building houses on our right of way which constitute a serious danger to lives and property.
“This incident happened as a result of overcharged air resulting from gas leakages from activities around this pipeline.
“Unfortunately, there was an ignition which led to a chain of events including igniting our pipeline.
“As you can see, our pipeline is on fire and we will take it out this night, God willing.”
According to him, it is very important for people to understand that oil operation has its rules and the moment it is breached, it will lead to unfortunate incidents.
Kyari said NNPC would continue to work with the Lagos State Government and security agencies to remove all property located within the pipeline right of way.
“For the avoidance of doubt, every asset on the right of way, we will take them out because this is not just about NNPC pipeline but it is about the lives and safety of Nigerians.
“You can see the young children who had nothing to do with the operations of these individuals are now in clear danger.
“This is completely avoidable and we cannot allow anyone to take the lives of Nigerians for granted, ” he said.