FOC in Bayelsa to secure on shore, offshore oil facilities

exploration-oil-copy---CopyRear Adm. Apochi Suleiman, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Nigerian Navy in Yenagoa, said his priority would be to secure the nation’s oil and gas facilities both onshore and offshore.

Sueiman made this known when he took over as the new FOC from Rear Adm. Stanley Ogoibe, in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the handover ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa.

Suleiman urged the officers and ratings of the command to shun illegalities as he promised to lead by example.

“If I am not involved in illegalities, I wonder how my commanders will be involved in any illegality. Let us all work to bring out the Nigerian Navy in good light,” Suleiman said.

The FOC also solicited the support of officers and ratings of the Central Naval Command to cooperate with him to achieve the short, medium and long term objectives of the Chief of Naval Staff.

He said that the objectives were geared toward safeguarding Nigerian territorial waters as well as protecting onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities.

Before his new appointment, Suleiman was the Chief Staff Officer, Naval Training Command, Apapa, Lagos.

Earlier, Ogoibe said that he was grateful for the opportunity to serve the Navy and the country in that capacity.

Ogoibe said that under his command, he worked within the limits of available resources to reduce oil theft and associated maritime crime within his area of responsibility.

He said the command was saddled with enormous responsibilities as 80 per cent of onshore oil facilities were domiciled within its area of operations.

The commander said that the numerous shallow water creeks were more difficult to patrol as it required flat bottom boats which was in short supply in the Navy’s fleet.

Ogoibe said the command needed such small boats for effective patrols.

He also said that more efforts were required to further achieve zero level of oil theft as envisioned by the Chief of Naval Staff.

He said he enlisted the support of oil communities as stakeholders, noting that it led to the reopening of a Shell pipeline that increased oil production by 10,000 tonnes of crude daily.

Ogoibe urged officers and ratings to cooperate with the new FOC to achieve his objectives.

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