The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed its preparedness to re-enter and commence full operations at the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough, as it seeks holistic military supports for the protection of its workforce and high-tech equipment.
The NNPC has in recent time, experienced vandalism of its pipeline assets in some parts of the country.
Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, made this submission when he led top Management of the Corporation on a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, at his office in Abuja, on Tuesday.
A statement by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said due to the security challenges in the Chad Basin, Gongola, and Benue Trough, the Corporation had not been able to mobilise fully to those areas of its important operations.
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 carry out our mandate for national development. Your support in terms of providing full security for staff and equipment is critical to us.”
He added that the Corporation equally required the military to intensify efforts in the protection of its pipelines and Right of Way (RoW) across the nook and cranny of Nigeria.
Kyari said 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, saying its synergy with the Military was critical to the wellbeing of the nation’s economic lifeline.
Responding, Gen Olonisakin described the NNPC as a strategic Corporation that would be given full military support to enable her deliver on her mandate to the Nigerian people.
“It is imperative for the Armed Forces and the NNPC to collaborate and synergise 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,” 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.