…As NNPC announces short-term palliatives for family of victims
31 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi has pledged the commitment of the institution to go the whole hog with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC in the search for commercial hydrocarbon deposits in the Chad basin despite the recent insurgent attack.
The don stated this over the weekend in Maiduguri while receiving the high powered delegation from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and the NNPC led by Engr. Saidu Mohammed, Chief Operating Officer in charge of gas and power unit of the Corporation.
Senior lecturers of the University and staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) were part of the team ambushed by Boko Haram insurgents during an oil exploration mission near Lake Chad.
Some members of the team, including a professor from the university, some of its lecturers as well as a staff of the NNPC were killed during the attack.
Prof. Njodi told the delegation that though the entire University community was distraught by the cruel incident of July 25th, 2017, the University cannot “chicken out” from doing what it is supposed to do when eventually the NNPC re-organizes and return to exploration work in the area.
Tracing the University’s partnership with the Corporation to over 12 years ago when the NNPC teed-off exploration activities in the Chad Basin, the UniMaid VC described the cruel attack on the Frontier Exploration Services/Surface Geochemistry Sampling team comprising the NNPC, Consultants from University of Maiduguri, Consultants attached to the Integrated Data Services Limited, (IDSL) a subsidiary of the NNPC and Civilian escort team, as an act of God.
He noted that the situation painful as it might appear must be seen as a necessary sacrifice for the development of the country.
Prof. Njodi, however, called on the NNPC to stand firmly beside the University and the families of the bereaved and provide the much-needed support to overcome the massive setback wrought by the insurgent attack.
Responding, Engr. Mohammed said as a responsible corporate entity the NNPC would do everything within its means to support the University and the families of the victims of the attack.
“We have been great partners with the University of Maiduguri for many years and certainly when losses like this happen and under this circumstance, we cannot abandon our partners to their fate,” Engr. Mohammed said.
He promised to return to the University after conferring with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC.
Earlier, the high powered delegation paid a similar visit to the Governor of Borno State at Government House Maiduguri where the deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, charged the NNPC not to allow the attack to dampen its morale in the quest for new oil finds in the region.
Before leaving Maiduguri, the delegation paid a visit to the Theatre Command Headquarters of operation Lafia Dole where a formal condolence letter from the HMSPR was handed over to Brig. Gen. Stevenson Olabanji who stood in for the theatre commander.
General Olabanji restated the readiness of the military to perform its statutory role of providing security cover for exploration activities in the Chad Basin and beyond.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru upon return of the Delegation over the weekend, announced some short term palliatives for victims of the attacks.