Navy wants firms to seal off disused oil well heads

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Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Saheed Akinwande has called on international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the ENC jurisdiction to seal off disused oil well heads or decommission them.

He made the call during an interview with journalists in his office in Calabar, weekend.

He said the call became necessary for environmental reasons and to enable them know which wells were still operational for security reasons.

Some of Nigeria’s most productive oil installations situates in the ENC zone, and the navy’s presence provides security cover for them.

Akinwande also called on the IOCs and governors of the Niger Delta States to extend more supports to keep their platforms afloat.

“We also need more supports from the IOCs and Governors of the Niger-Delta states,” he said, stressing that Navy had the most cost intensive platforms.

He disclosed that the cost of medicare and maintaining the crews and ships they arrest over illegal oil activities have become high.

“This is why we call for accelerated prosecution of criminal elements arrested. This will help conserve our little funds for other purposes”, he stated.

On their relationship with host communities, Akinwande said, “The command has continued to pursue a robust collaborative engagement with coastal communities through regular meeting to address maritime related threats.

“For instance, there is a tri-partite meeting between the Nigerian Navy, host communities and IOCs. This meeting is chaired by Commander NNS PATHFINDER.

“Also, the Commanding Officer FOB IBAKA holds regular meetings with the Ibaka Fishermen Union.

“On the whole, the engagements with the host communities has fostered common understanding, burden sharing and mutual trust.”

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