By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, expressed preparedness to re-enter and commence full operations at the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari,yesterday called for the support of the military to protect its workforce and high-tech equipment when it resumed operations in the volatile areas.
Kyari, who stated this when he led top management of the NNPC on a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, in Abuja.He noted that due to the security challenges in the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough, the NNPC had not been able to mobilize fully to those areas of its important operations.
He noted that the NNPC equally required the military to intensify efforts in the protection of NNPC’s pipelines and Right of Way, RoW, across the nook and cranny of Nigeria.
Kyari stated that the NNPC was seriously challenged due to the nefarious activities of pipeline vandals, petroleum products thieves and other economic saboteurs that breach the operations of the corporation in various parts of the country.
He recounted the significance of NNPC’s contributions to the national economy, stating that the corporation’s synergy with the Military was critical to the well-being of the nation’s economic lifeline.
He said, “I am visiting the Chief of Defence Staff as my first port of call following my appointment to seek for the support of the Armed Forces to help the NNPC in re-entering the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough to enable us to carry out our mandate for national development. Your support in terms of providing full security for staff and equipment is critical to us.”
In his response, General Olonisakin described the NNPC as a strategic corporation that would be given full military support to enable her to deliver on her mandate to the Nigerian people.
“It is imperative for the Armed Forces and the NNPC to collaborate and synergize for the benefit of the country going by their various strategic roles to the nation. The Armed Forces operations, code-named: Operation Wase and Operations Delta Safe, along with other operations, were geared towards protecting pipelines and various oil and gas facilities,” General Olanisakin averred.
He said the military and the NNPC had been working together and the visit of the GMD would further bolster the various operations to secure the oil and gas installations, adding that the Military had devised several strategies to stem the tide of pipeline breaches in the country.