The epileptic power supply across Nigeria may get worse in coming days as the Trans Forcados oil pipeline has again been vandalised by yet-to-be identified persons.
According to the Federal Ministry of Power, the vandalism was recorded over the weekend and was the third since the beginning of 2015, occurring within a space of 17 days.
It said the damage to the Trans Forcados pipeline at Oteghele area of Bayelsa State caused a crude oil spill.
The ministry, in a statement, said, “Consequent upon this incident, all oil and gas production into this pipeline has been shut down to allow for damage assessment and repairs.
“The duration of the disruption has not been estimated yet by sector technical experts, but it is expected to reduce the volume of gas available for power generation whilst the situation lasts.”
The 24-inch TFP section of the Trans Forcados pipeline at Okuokoko/Ugbomro was vandalised on January 2, 2015.
Two days later, on January 4, the vandals destroyed the 24-inch TFP section at Egbokodo and the 28-inch TFP section at Yeye/Chanomi area of the same pipeline.
According to the ministry, sector experts went to work immediately at the vandalised parts and after about one week on each section, repairs were effected and the pipeline was put back to use.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, had appealed for the understanding of electricity consumers as a result of the reduction in power supply, which this development might cause in some parts of the country.
The minister described as “painful”, the possible motive of sabotage, in view of the established cycle of vandalism incidents always coming on the heels of achieved high generation levels.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the ministry’s collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the nation’s security forces had resulted in the arrest of some pipeline vandals in the recent past.