The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday alleged that some security agencies were conniving with communities to vandalise petroleum pipelines.
Mr Kareem Olanrewaju, the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC in Abeokuta, disclosed to the News men in Lagos.
Olanrewaju said that one of the major challenges confronting the corps on pipeline vandalism had to do with many security agencies found along the pipeline network claiming to be protecting the pipelines.
He said that the only way to reduce incessant pipeline vandalism was to allow the NSCDC, saddled by the law, to protect the pipelines.
Olanrewaju said that some security personnel and host communities that were supposed to assist government in protecting the pipelines connived with the vandals to perpetuate the act.
“We have had situations where some security agents and host communities watched over NSCDC to vandalise the pipelines.
“Some residents living within the pipeline areas and security agencies have been caught and reported to be collecting money from vandals.
“We are faced with some unfaithful security agents conniving with vandals to perpetuate such criminal act.
“NSCDC should be allowed to arrest and prosecute pipeline vandals to reduce the rate of pipeline vandalism in the country,’’ Olanrewaju said.
The corps, however, appealed to the Federal Government to empower the NSCDC with modern equipment to combat pipeline vandalism.
The spokesman suggested that CCTV cameras should be installed along the pipelines.
“CCTV cameras should be installed in strategic parts of the country to effectively monitor pipeline routes and electricity cables prone to vandalism,’’ he said.
Olanrewaju said that the NSCDC planned to increase its surveillance and anti-vandalism operations in the New Year to rid the country of thieves siphoning oil resources.
He said that management of the corps had adopted new strategies to tackle the destruction and sabotage of essential national infrastructure including oil pipelines.
The spokesman called on all Nigerians, particularly the host communities, to cooperate fully with the security outfits to enable the agencies tackles the security challenges.