The Senator representing the people of Imo West Senatorial District, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha has proposed the privatization of pipeline management as a workable strategy towards bringing to a total stop, or at most, drastically reducing the incidents of pipeline vandalization in the country.
The Imo West Senator, observed that the recurrent incidents of pipeline vandalism may be traced to some unpatriotic officials who may have been charged with the responsibility of protecting these pipelines from vandals and economic saboteurs.
It is the thinking of the immediate past governor of Imo State, who is renowned for his creative ingenuity in both his private businesses and public service, that privatizing or outsourcing the management of these pipelines to profit oriented firms will drastically reduce incidents of vandalism, as these would know that their profit or otherwise is dependent on their ability to deliver on the terms of their assignment.
This idea becomes a lot more relevant and strategic when considered on the strength of the reality that people, even officials, in this part of the world, do not take the protection and preservation of public properties as something worth their pains. Officials charged with the responsibility of protecting these pipelines would always think that whatever happens, they must be paid their salaries and sometimes, they may even profit from these vandalism.
Okorocha's idea of private management, is expected to include a clause, where the government will not have to pay these private firms for their services, but would be an arrangement that would include a sharing formula between the government and the firms securing these pipelines.
Being that these pipelines are means of transporting crude oil from one place to the other, the contract would be dependent on how much loss these private firms may be able to save the government through the stoppage of any form of vandalization of pipelines.
Fellow Senators and public policy analysts have continued to shower encomiums on the Imo West Senator, and are looking forward to the executive arm of government, through relevant agencies take up this proposal and implement it, expeditiously.
Statistics have shown that pipeline vandalism and related petroleum sector crimes have cost Nigeria billions of Dollars over the years and as well led to the loss of many innocent Nigerian lives.
By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones