Eni's Scaroni Discusses Kidnappings, Pipeline Explosion with Obasanjo

On Wednesday the Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo met in Lagos with Eni's Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni. Main topics of the long and friendly meeting were the kidnapping of the four people working for Eni, which occurred on December 7 at the Brass Terminal nearby Port Harcourt, and yesterday's explosion in Lagos of an oil pipeline causing hundreds of deaths.

Paolo Scaroni wished to thank the Nigerian President for the intense activity carried out by the central and local Authorities with regards to the seizing of the workers, three Italians and one Lebanese, hoping for a quick and positive solution. President Obasanjo also thanked Italy's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Eni for the support given to the Nigerian Authorities on the events concerning the abducted workers.

Eni's CEO confirmed and supported the choice of the Nigerian Authorities of proceeding with the negotiations for the release of the hostages, avoiding any kind of military intervention. On this point, President Obasanjo reassured Eni on the will of Nigerian Government to continue negotiations with the group holding the workers, thus saying to be deeply convinced of an incoming positive solution of the case. During the meeting, themes like the security of workers, industrial plants for hydrocarbon extraction and power plants for the African Country were also discussed.

Paolo Scaroni expressed his deepest condolences for the tragedy occurred yesterday in Lagos. Eni's CEO offered to the Nigerian President all of Eni's sympathy, and confirmed the company's availability to arrange, as always happened before, medical care and social support for the community hit by the tragedy. President Obasanjo, who was devastated by yesterday's accident, thanked Eni's availability and sensitivity shown towards Nigerian people in this tragic situation.

Eni's CEO Paolo Scaroni, invited by President Obasanjo, visited people hurt by yesterday's blow in the Lagos University Hospital and granted the Sanitary Director of the hospital Femi Olugbile Eni's availability to provide medical assistance and treatment of the most difficult cases.

Eni is activating its own medical structures both in Nigeria and Italy to effectively support the situation. The Head of Italian medical staff in Nigeria will reach over the next hours the Lagos University Hospital to coordinate local doctors, while an EniMed medical team will shortly leave Italy to reach Lagos with equipments and medicines and join local medical staff to bring cures to people hurt by yesterday's explosion.