The House of Representatives Committee on Defence is to investigate the immediate causes of fresh hostilities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.
The decision was taken on Thursday after lawmakers deliberated on a motion moved by Honourable Julius Pondi, regarding the recent destruction of petroleum facilities in the Niger delta.
Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State was attacked last week and its impact is beginning to reflect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The House of Representatives is also urging the military high command to search for the perpetrators and also protect the innocent citizens in the area.
After the attack, the Ministry Power, Works and Housing said it would impact negatively on the Olorunsogo NIPP plant, with 600 megawatts capacity and other Power Plants.
In a statement by the spokesman for the Minister, Hakeem Bello, the Ministry said that “the sabotaged gas pipeline, which contributes to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) has led to a loss of 160 million standard cubic feet per day of gas”.
Giving a breakdown of the effect of the attack, the Ministry said: “At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means about $400,000 loss to the country on a daily basis (N78,800,000 daily) in gas volume.
“This is in addition to losses to be incurred daily from affected Power generation ($1,988,223 or N391,680,000 daily). The total daily loss to the country is therefore estimated at N470,479,931.
“Repairs of the damaged pipeline is estimated as costing ($609,137 or N120,000.000)”.
The Ministry further stated that the real sector of the economy had also been counting its losses, as some cement companies around Olorunsogo like Ewekoro and Ibese were also affected.
In comments related to the attack, the Chief of Naval Staff said that the recent vandalism in Warri, Delta State was sabotage and terrorism and would not be tolerated by the Navy.
Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas made the statement on Wednesday at a lecture with participants of Course 24 of the National Defence College in Abuja, who came from various security agencies in Nigeria.
He said that a close inspection of the explosion revealed that the intention of the saboteurs was not to steal crude oil but to damage the oil facilities which infringes on a primary mandate of the Navy and would be taken seriously.
The attack had also affected petroleum product supplies, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.
A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny – Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.
The NNPC stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.
The investigation into the attack would possibly reveal the individuals or group behind the attack that has affected the nation’s already insufficient power supply, reduced the daily supply of petroleum product, with fears that the nation will go back to a period of petrol scarcity.