Nigeria: NNPC Seeks Military Support to Restart Oil Search in Chad Basin

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has solicited the support of the military for its planned re-entrance and commencement of full oil exploration operations in the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough.

The NNPC said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday it would require the protection of its workforce and high-tech equipment as it was prepared to return to business in the areas.

The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mele Kyari, made this submission when he led top Management of the NNPC on a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

The NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, quoted Mr Kyari as saying due to the security challenges in the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough, the NNPC has not been able to mobilize fully to commence its operations in those areas.

Mr Kyari said the NNPC management was visiting the Chief of Defence Staff to seek the support of the Armed Forces to help the NNPC in re-entering the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough.

"The support will enable us (NNPC) to carry out our mandate for national development. Your support in terms of providing full security for staff and equipment is critical to us," he said.

He said the corporation 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.

Mr 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.

The GMD recounted the significance of NNPC's contributions to the national economy, saying corporation's synergy with the Military was critical to the wellbeing of the nation's economic lifeline.

Responding, Mr Olonisakin described the NNPC as a strategic corporation that deserved to 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 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," he said.

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.

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