•Prioritise passage of PIB, oil workers beg new GMD
Immediate past Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, yesterday said the organisation’s financial books were clean and open to scrutiny.
Speaking at a valedictory session in his honour in Abuja, he stated that the national oil firm’s financials were current and audited.He added that there was nothing to worry about should the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) decide to review the activities of the corporation.
Baru, who spent three years on the seat, had unveiled a 12-point agenda that included security; new business models; joint venture cash calls exit; production and reserve growth; Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) growth; gas development; refinery upgrade and expansion; renewable energy and frontier exploration campaign; oil and gas infrastructure optimization; ventures and shared services; professionalism as well as accountability and staff welfare.
He had also promised to improve efficiency of the four existing refineries to pave way for future expansion. His achievements were, however, tainted by the inability of the country to get the facilities work efficiently as it made a loss of N132.5 billion in 2018 alone.Indeed, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) confirmed that Nigeria’s downstream oil sector receded in the last 20 years, especially in refining utilisation
Though the event was attended by prominent Nigerians, including lawmakers, former GMDs of the corporation and captains of industries, erstwhile Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, was conspicuously absent.Appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari and stakeholders for their support when he held sway, Baru submitted that he had done his best for the sector, adding that most objectives set at the beginning of his administration were achieved.
He said the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Bello Rabiu, restored, increased and sustained crude oil and gas production to above two million barrels per day and 8,000MMscfd, just as he pointed out that the NPDC’s equity production rose from 22,000bpd in 2016 to 165,000bpd in 2018.
His successor, Mele Kyari, pledged to prioritise accountability and transparency, stating that data from the corporation would be made public.
However, oil workers have pleaded with the new GMD to see to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and resolve price instability in the downstream sector.
General Secretary of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Lumumba Okugbawa, said though the industry recorded some achievements under Baru, the sector still remained riddled by challenges impeding the full realisation of its potential.