…As Deputy governor tasks Navy on ship building***
The Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company on Sunday declared a ‘force majeure’ on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) fire outbreak, and subsequently hints of identifying third-party saboteurs as master minds of the fire.
Mr Ndiana Matthew, Head, Corporate Communications of the company indicated this in a statement in Lagos, highlighting that the decision followed information of a fire outbreak by a surveillance team composed of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and DSS around NCTL RoW near Awoba this Sunday.
According to Mathew, “We are constrained to shut in injection as well as other related operations into the NCTL.
“In accordance with standard procedure, we requested the other injectors to do same.
“The NCTL has, hitherto, enjoyed smooth operations preceding this incident”.
According to him, the fire may have occurred through an illegitimate, third party breach of the functionality of the pipeline which is as a critical national asset.
Mathew said: “In the meantime, the relevant investigations are continuing while further information about the remote and direct causes of the fire will be communicated as soon as these became available.
“We ask our stakeholders to await further, detailed briefing in due course”.
Aiteo Group is an integrated, global-focused Nigerian energy conglomerate founded in February 2008 by Benedict Peters.
The company has significant business interests in oil and gas exploration and production; bulk petroleum storage; refining of petroleum products; trading, marketing and supply as well as power generation and distribution.
Its subsidiaries are Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited (AEEPCo) and Aiteo Power.
Aiteo Group acquired OML 29 from Royal Dutch Shell and emerged as Nigeria’s leading oil and gas company after successfully tripling.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Deputy Gov., Rear Adm. John Jonah (rtd.) on Sunday charged the Nigerian Navy on ship building, saying that it would boost the nation’s capacity in the maritime trade.
The retired admiral, in a statement issued by Lt.-Com. Charles Brinemigha, said that the Navy could boost the nation’s capacity in the maritime trade by championing the development of its own war ships.
The Deputy Governor, who was the Special Guest of Honour at a sailing competition organised by the Nigerian Navy Sailing Club, Ojo, Lagos, said there was need for the Navy to begin to design and construct its own vessels.
This, according to him, will also create jobs and arrest capital flight.
The Adm. Jonah was the head of a team of naval engineers who built the nation’s first warship known as NNS ANDONI.
The war ship is now participating actively in the war against arms and drug smuggling, illegal fishing and human trafficking in the country’s territorial waters.
The Deputy Governor noted that millions of dollars were spent annually to procure vessels abroad, but that locally-produced ones would meet the immediate needs of the nation.
According to him, Nigeria is basically a maritime country and that there are so much activities in the maritime area which account for the growing need for platforms to meet up with the demand.
He said: “One thing that is in favour of Nigeria is genuine engineers who are willing to embark on such projects.
“The Cabotage law also creates opportunities for the Navy to produce crafts at certain level, which can be easily manufactured locally.
“I believe we can do more than what we are doing now if we put our minds at it.
“If we produce here, we will employ our people and it will be so enormous,’’ he said.
Jonah said though it might take time, the only problem was that Nigeria has a culture of wanting to get results immediately.
“By this, I mean that if you fail, everybody will rain abuses on you but do you know how many researches failed before people came to inventions?
“However, we must begin to develop that culture; an industrial culture is still not ours but we must begin to work to encourage its development and growth.
“If we encourage fellow Nigerians, I am telling you a lot can be done.
“As a nation, we should be able to exploit our resources, which is why anytime we have engineers’ conference, I try to involve naval personnel to participate and network with them,’’ he said.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, appreciated the deputy governor for his passion for water sports.
The FOC said that water made up over 70 per cent of the
space, adding that Nigeria, being a littoral nation, made the maritime environment the mainstay of the national economy.