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Ijegun fire: Reps slam Lagos govt

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Abuja. on 2008/05/29 | Views: 906 |

Ijegun fire: Reps slam Lagos govt


For violating the Pipeline Act that led to the Ijegun fire outbreak, the Committee on Petroleum (Down Stream) of the House of Representatives on Tuesday suggested to the Petroleum Products Management Company (PPMC) to drag Lagos State government to court to seek for compensation.

For violating the Pipeline Act that led to the Ijegun fire outbreak, the Committee on Petroleum (Down Stream) of the House of Representatives on Tuesday suggested to the Petroleum Products Management Company (PPMC) to drag Lagos State government to court to seek for compensation.

Chairman of the committee, Hon Clever Ikisikpo, said that it was wrong for Lagos State government and its local governments to allocate right of way land to people to build houses and issued Certificate of Occupancy.

The submission of Lagos State’s Legal Adviser, Akeem Bello, shifting the blame of the accident on the management of PPMC for not providing specific location of the service pipes network to the state government annoyed the committee.

Responding, Ikisikpo said that “though what happened was an accident, the House is interested in finding a lasting solution to such occurrence. The incident of pipeline explosion has occurred in Nigeria for more than ten times and five of the incidents happened in Lagos state.
“We should be very sincere. If we can say the truth in respect of this issue, we can get the solution to the problem. The funniest part was that the Special Adviser on Works supposes to lead the group, but we are seeing a lawyer trying to defend the whole issue.

“If we do that, then we are not helping the matter at stake. If PPMC should come with a lawyer to start talking about it, it then means we are not looking for the truth, because at this point, we don’t even need a lawyer to start talking.

Ikisipo regretted that the community was not represented in the hearing, adding that the committee would have loved to hear the community’s side in other to avoid blame shifting.
Special Adviser for Works to the Lagos State Governor, Ganiyu Johnson, had said that the road construction work was borne out of the yearnings of the Ijegun residents for the past 15 years.
He said the depth at which PPMC pipe was buried was so shallow that even the pressure of heavy trucks on the road can make it burst, adding that the Ijegun explosion was an accident waiting for the time to happen.

“When you have the pipeline buried at 2.5 metres, of course, we would not have this kind of incident because by the time you encountered a concrete slab, you will know that something is underneath, but in this case there was no concrete slab, the pipe was just exposed to earth,” he said.






But PPMC Managing Director, Reginald Stanley said he would not want a situation where both sides would start defending their positions because if they are not frank about getting to the bottom of the incident it would certainly happen again.
He said it was not fair on the people of Lagos state to have lives wasted when it is preventable.
According to him, the Legal Adviser appeared not to have visited the site of the incident because what he said totally contradict what was on ground.
Stanley agreed with the Lagos state government that what really happened was an accident, but insisted that what happened was a complete violation of basic HAC because the sign posts were there even if there was no record of anything given to them.
He said unfortunately the caterpillar driver died otherwise he would have been someone to testify before the lawmakers today.

In his defence, General Manager of Hitech Construction company, Dany Abboud declared that there was no indication that pipeline were buried under the site in the map given to them by the Lagos State government, while regretting the incident and the number of deaths involved.

He, however, dismissed the insinuation that the project was subcontracted by the company saying that what they did was to hire a bulldozer because of mobility problem.

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Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????

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Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

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Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

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