The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it will intensify efforts at protecting its oil pipelines through effective?collaboration with security agencies to check?vandalism.

Mr Fidel Pepple, the acting Group General Manager (Public Affairs) of the corporation disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in a telephone interview in Lagos.

“We are going to collaborate with both the communities and security agencies to curb incessant pipeline vandalism in the country.''

He said pipeline vandalism was becoming a big challenge to the NNPC, adding that the negative trend would not be allowed to continue.

Pepple said that the corporation required the assistance of?the host communities and security agencies in curbing the problem.

?“NNPC needs the intervention of all the communities to keep watch; the various communities and individuals should support government in fighting pipeline vandalism in the country.’’

The NNPC spokesman pointed out that it was also the responsibility of communities living along the pipeline route?to ensure adequate and prompt protection of the pipelines.

?“We implore all state governments, community leaders and security agencies to work hand in hand with NNPC in ensuring that culprits?are appropriately apprehended.

“It is in the communities' interest to do whatever we can to protect this national endowment, ’’ Pepple said.

He?disclosed that the NNPC had engaged the services of private surveillance agencies to secure the pipelines.

Pepple expressed worry over the killing of three NNPC staff at Arepo by vandals, saying the repair of the vandalised line would commence?as soon as?the security agents?confirmed that the place “is better secured for workers to come into the place”.

“We can no longer risk the lives of our dear staff any longer; we cannot go into the place as at now when we are not sure of the security of the place.

“We are more concerned about the wellbeing and security of our workers.

“We want to ensure that the place is stable and?secured before we will embark on the repair of the vandalised pipeline in Arepo”, he said. (NAN)