Former group managing directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday met in Abuja and posited that the ongoing hostilities in the Niger Delta Region are threatening oil production and the nation’s economy.
This is coming just as the group managing director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Kacalla Baru presented the status of the corporation and the oil and gas industry including his 12 Business Focus Areas towards putting the corporation on the path of growth and profitability.
Speaking at a one-day meeting in Abuja, Dr. Baru and his predecessors, including the immediate past GMD, who is also the current minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Dr Edmund Daukoru, Chief Odoliyi Lolomari, Dr. Thomas M. A. John, Engr. Lawrence Amu, Dr. Jackson E. Gaius-Obaseki, Engr. Funsho Kupolokun, Dr Abubakar Yar’Adua, and Dr. Joseph Thlama agreed that if the current situation remains unchecked, it could lead to the crippling of the corporation and the nation’s oil and gas sector, which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
They noted that there was an urgent need for government and security agencies to refocus as well as engage the various host communities as well as established social and traditional structures to develop an actionable partnership framework toward finding a lasting solution to the present unrest.
The former GMD’s commended NNPC for resolving the fuel supply crisis and urged the corporation to emplace measures that will ensure sustenance of seamless supply of petroleum products nationwide.
They, however, noted that the PMS Price cap of N145/litre was not congruent with the liberalization policy especially with the foreign exchange rate and other price determining components such as crude cost, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) charges and others remaining uncapped.
On the state of the refineries, the former GMDs advised that the refineries be rejuvenated using the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
“The refineries must be restructured to operate as an Incorporated Joint venture (IJV) similar to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) model with credible partners having requisite technical and financial capabilities,” the GMDs said in a statement issued after the meeting by the group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Garba Deen Muhammad.
The former GMDs commended President Buhari’s efforts at sustaining exploration activities in the frontier basins, particularly the ongoing efforts in Chad Basin and the Benue Trough. They therefore advised Baru to pay priority attention to the Chad Basin where promising prospects are recorded
The former GMDs were worried about the level of NNPC’s debt profile and advised that as a matter of urgency, NNPC should establish the true state of its current financial status and immediately decide on the most appropriate capitalisation model.
“The effective functioning of any national oil company (NOC), the technical components of the country’s exploration and production (E&P) must be integrated as part of the country’s NOC. NAPIMS being the technical component of Nigeria’s E&P, and not just an investment vehicle must remain with and managed by NNPC. Taking NAPIMS out will make NNPC an ineffective NOC,” they said.