The management of Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) has kick-started the process to fix the gas pipeline that exploded at Ugbokodo community in Okpe local government area of Delta state.
Our correspondent who visited the scene of gas pipeline explosion which took place in the early hours of Thursday, January 11, 2018, authoritatively report that an indigenous company, NANPIST Venture, was on ground clearing the affected area for proper assessment and evaluation of the damaged caused.
An official of NANPIST, Kingsley Onaipia, noted that he was on site at the instance of NGC, stressing that excavation was being carried out to enable NGC management ascertain the level of damage before real work will commence.
In a swift reaction,the Ugbokodo-Okpe community has said that they have no problem with NGC in her bid to restore the damaged pipeline. They, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the steps taken, saying: “NGC did not officially consult the community before mobilizing to site for work.”
Ugbokodo-Okpe community spokesman, Mr. Tobore Ajisha, in a chat with journalists stated that the gas pipeline explosion caused serious damage in the community, adding that they are still in shock as a result of the panic caused by the ugly incident.
Mr. Ajisha who emphasised that no life was lost from the incident that forced many to scamper for safety in such an odd hour, noted that their major concern was for the gas pipeline to be fixd with appropriate compensation paid to his community.
According to him: “The extent of damage was much. You saw the extent of the flame of the fire inside the creek, both the angroves and other things were damaged. Both nets, fishing boats, were consumed by the fire.
“NGC has come to see us. They promised to come back after they have ascertained the extent of the damage. But we are not satisfied with the step they have taken so far. We are not happy because they didn’t tell us before they mobilized to site.”
While assuring the management of NGC of their readiness to dialogue towards amicable settlement and compensation, Mr. Ajisha disclosed that as a peace loving community they will provide the convivial atmosphere for peaceful negotiation.
They advised NGC no to be cajoled by other communities who may approach them for compensation and settlement, stressing that the exploded pipeline is located on Ugbokodo Community land hence should disregard any other community making advances.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ajisha has called on NGC to take immediate step to! fix another damaged gas pipeline located about 200 meters away from residential area in Ugbokodo Okpe Community, saying that it is a keg of gun powder waiting.
He noted the pipeline is very close to the suuface and recommended that it should be further submerged. He stated that his people may not be lucky as they with the January 11 explosion if this identified danger is not addressed.