Recurring pipeline explosions in Lagos

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SIR: The unending incidents of pipeline explosion in Lagos State is becoming worrisome and requires a full-fledged action plan from the Lagos State government and stakeholders concerned to curb this danger that has continued to put the life of humanity at risk.

Over time, we’ve witnessed series of pipeline explosions with attendant loss of lives, properties, and businesses. A host of other valuables have also gone with it. These occurrences leave one to wonder if those at the helm of affairs place value on humanity.

Statistics have it that, at least 60 fire outbreaks were recorded in Nigeria between January and December last year. Also, Lagos State is said to have recorded the majority of these fire outbreaks, which is estimated to be around 54% of the total incidents in Nigeria.

Similarly, it will be noticed that these explosions are common in the Lagos mainland as it has become a major problem to the inhabitants who continues to battle these incessant fire outbreaks that continue to leave ugly and sad memories.

Last year, major areas on the mainland like Ifako-Ijaye, Egbe-Idimu, Magboro, FESTAC, Ipaja, Abule-Ado, and Abule-Egba were affected by pipeline explosions.

One of the most tragic was the explosion at a gas processing plant in Abule Ado area of Lagos State in March 2020, which claimed the lives of over 20 persons, leaving several individuals with fire burns. At least 50 buildings were razed as a result of the fire as well as a girls boarding school known as Bethlehem Girl’s College.

In the same way, Abule-Egba was hit by a similar outbreak that leftover 150 residents displaced by the incident, which also led to the death of five persons, and the burning of 71 shops, 30 houses, a church auditorium, and 39 vehicles.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while reacting to the incident claimed the fire outbreak was caused by a truck that collided with some gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant near the corporation’s pipeline.

The Lagos State government in response to the incident set up a set up a N2 billion relief fund to support the survivors, presenting cheques to the victims of the families.

Although, this was a good gesture by the state government, the question is – how long will the state government continue to set up funds to cater for victims when the real problem is yet unsolved?

It is high time all hands are put on deck to proffer long-lasting solutions to avoid further occurrences of these pipeline outbreaks particularly on the Lagos mainland. It the responsibility of the Lagos State government to ensure that families, businesses, schools, churches, mosques, and most especially children are safe from these hazards.

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