Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has pledged the Nigerian Army’s commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for oil companies to operate in the country.
Buratai gave the pledge when a delegation from Exxon Mobil Companies Nigeria led by its Senior Manager, Security External Relations, Mr Ide Owodiong-Idemeko visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.
Buratai, who was represented by Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, Chief of Policy and Plans, Army, said that the Nigerian army would continue to support the company and every other business in the country to succeed.
“Nigerian army will continue to support companies and organisations that are contributing to the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The economy of Nigeria is largely driven by oil-related activities, Exxon Mobil plays a great and important role in ensuring that Nigeria has some leverage to boost its economy.
“Exxon Mobil is one of the peaceful oil prospecting organisations in the Niger Delta with less problem between them, the community hosting them and the security forces there.
“We congratulate you on your good corporate social responsibility which has accounted for your peaceful coexistence with the communities within which you operate,” he said.
On the Safety Chamber Flag Device proposed by the company, COAS assured that the army would support the company to actualise its objective for the safety of the operating environment.
According to him, in the army, we have our rules of engagement and as you have said the issue of negligence discharge, which is called accidental discharge, has not occurred from the soldiers,” he added.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Owodiong-Idemeko, commended the Nigerian military for their conduct in the Niger Delta in ensuring that oil companies operated safely.
He said that the safety of the business environment was a very important indices of measuring business success.
According to him, the collaboration of the company with the Nigerian army has also helped the company to achieve greater success most especially in Akwa Ibom.
Owodiong-Idemeko disclosed that the reason for the visit was to further strengthen the relationship between the company and the army.
He added that the visit was to also see how they could ensure the reduction of incidence of negligence discharge and improve their safety, especially from the armed men deployed to its facilities.
According to him, they work in a very sensitive environment where we take safety at a very high level and in fact, it is one of our major indices of business.
“Sometimes about two years ago we started talking about ‘Safety Chamber Flags device for an additional safety check on what we already have.
“It will help to prevent negligence discharge because we had situations like that but not necessarily from the military because we have host security agencies working with us,” he said.