The Senate yesterday, set up a committee headed by Ibrahim Gobir, to look into the remote cause of the pipeline explosion that killed about 15 persons and wounded over 50 in Komkom Community, in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The pipeline explosion, which was said to have caused panic in the community, reportedly occurred few days ago when some workers from an unidentified firm were working on one of the pipelines.
At its plenary yesterday, the Senate also urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and other agencies in the oil and gas production sector, to improve on the security of the nation’s oil pipelines all over the country.
The upper legislative chamber, also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to visit the scene and provide succour to those affected.
The resolution of the Senate followed a motion titled: “Pipeline explosion in Komkom Town of Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State,” sponsored by Sekibo George and three others.
Leading the debate on the motion, the lawmaker explained that there was an oil pipeline explosion at Komkom Town in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State and over fifteen (15) persons died instantly with over fifty (50) persons receiving different level of injuries while properties worth millions of Naira were consumed by the fire from the explosion.
He said the majority of the pipelines, which are used to distribute oil from the point of exportation or national use, were laid over fifty years ago, adding that with time and usage they may have become weak in some sections.
The lawmaker said “this and other factors could be blamed for the incessant pipeline explosions in the Niger Delta region and other areas which has been a major source of death.
“Such explosions have always brought irreparable devastating consequences on the people and the affected areas, as is often, such explosions usually change the environment and the livelihood of the people in the area.”
Enumerating the damaging effects of the explosion in the Niger Delta region, George said, “occurrence of similar incidents that took place in the following areas which left scars of the devastation that are still fresh in our minds, including: The Soku explosion about eight years ago that took hundreds of life and still kept many people maimed.