Periodically, we find ourselves in foreign countries under the care of the military. One of our recent journeys landed us in Nigeria. A team member was there to inspect a gas plant for leaks as well as loss of product through passing valves. We utilized Optical Gas Imaging Cameras and ultrasonic devices on this project. This particular facility is responsible for 30% of the natural gas used to generate Nigeria’s electricity. Naturally, this project was of critical importance. The unknown variables of working in Nigeria cannot be overstated. Thankfully, our Nigerian partner T Triangle Ltd was able to make our trip smooth, safe, and successful.
One of the main hurdles was simply the location of the gas plant. The facility is in Delta State, which the Canadian Embassy has given a “do no travel” status. One month previous to our visit, a military outpost was attacked by armed rebels. These armed rebels killed several military members and stole their weapons. This attack happened in the town where Lineriders was staying. Armed kidnappings of foreigners are a recurring issue as well. These events aren’t uncommon.
The Nigerian government recognized the importance of our mission and gave as “VIP” status. We were appointed two military escort vehicles full of men to accompany us throughout the project. This was a testament to the governments commitment to keeping foreign workers safe while modernizing their environmental standards.
The hospitality of the Nigerian government, the knowledge and guidance of T Triangle, and the professionalism of the people we worked with directly, helped us mitigate risks before we even arrived in the country. The safeguards in place were very similar to what we are used to, but a little more extreme.