The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has expressed the determination of the Federal Government to fight pipeline vandals to a standstill.
He said the Government will achieve this through the deployment of sophisticated weapons, adding that there are plans to set up a permanent Pipeline Special Security Force to stamp out the economic menace.
The Vice-President disclosed this on Friday at Osubi Airstrip shortly after his return aboard Nigerian Air force chopper 5N-CHM from inspecting the January 14 bombed oil and gas pipeline at Forcados Terminal in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
While stressing that the economic saboteurs are as bad as terrorists, he bemoaned the effects of the destruction of oil installations on power generation and the over 250,000 barrels of crude oil lost per day by the Federal Government.
According to him:-
“We would have to deploy even sophisticated weapons to ensure we contain vandalism; we may have to set up a permanent pipeline security force as an option to look at stamping out the menace.
“As you know, pipeline vandals are probably as bad as any type of terrorists or saboteurs and the danger posed to lives caused by pipelines vandals.
“All of us must agree with the president that the vandals must be treated in the most severe manner and should not be tolerated at all.
“So, I agree with Mr President entirely that pipeline vandals should not be tolerated under any circumstance,” Osinbajo vowed.
He stressed that a lot of efforts are being made by the Federal and state governments as well as communal help to repair the damaged pipelines, meet the current vandalism challenges as well as ascertain what can be done in the future to arrest the trend.