Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Saturday said his administration would not tolerate sabotage of petroleum pipelines, calling on the host communities of the newly commissioned Ilorin Depot to guide the national asset jealously.
"While I am happy about this development, I must also express my disappointment at the fact that we are having to spend public funds to revive a depot that the government had spent so much money to put in place just because of the activities of some vandals and economic saboteurs,"
AbdulRazaq said at the official recommissioning of the Depot at Oke Oyi suburb of Ilorin, the capital of the state.
"For how long do we want to sabotage our fatherland and collective prosperity for selfish reasons?
The governor however commended the NNPC for reviving the depot which he said would impact positively on the economy of the state.
"This is a happy day for us in Kwara. We are delighted to have this depot resuscitated," he added, saying the the administration would be proactive and work with the security agencies to secure the integrity of the pipelines.
The event was attended the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; Speaker od the Kwara State House of Assembly Yakubu Salihu Danladi; the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mele Kyari; Chief of Staff to the Governor Aminu Logun; representative of the Emir of Ilorin and Balogun Gambari of Ilorin, Mohammed Adebayo; heads of security agencies in the state; and representatives of the petroleum workers’ unions, among others.
Kyari, the NNPC chief, called the recommissioning of the depot a great boost for economic growth of the state.
"The NNPC exists to bring comfort and ease to Nigeria but each time petrol distribution is disrupted, there is great unease in the country," he said.
Kyari called on the host communities to work with the corporation and the security agencies to maintain the integrity of the national assets.
Established in the 1970s, the Ilorin Depot became inactive in 2015 following the activities of vandals who consistently sabotaged the pipelines and stole fuel in commercial quantities.
Until Saturday’s recommissioning of the depot, fuel tankers from Kwara State had to travel hundreds of kilometres to Apata Depot in Ibadan, Oyo State, or Mosinmi in Shagamu, Ogun State, to load petroleum for distribution in the state and its environs.
Analysts said the previous state of the depot resulted in waste of time, a drain on public resources, and increased pressure on the roads — aside from the potential for auto crashes and loss of lives.