Maikanti Baru

The total amount of money so far given to International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in repayment for the discounted $5.1 billion cash call debt owed to them has been put at $1 billion.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this much in an address to the staff of the corporation in commemoration of his two years in office as head of the state oil corporation.

His disclosure of this in the message was contained in a statement Thursday in Abuja by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu.

In the statement, Baru said his management of the corporation had been successful so far. He listed some of his achievements within the period, which he noted included the payment of the cash call debts to the IOCs amongst others.

According to him, the NNPC under him had done well in its upstream oil business and so far maintained a two-million barrels per day (mbd) oil production level in 2018.

“Aside securing approval and signing off the novel financing structure with Schlumberger for the NNPC/First E&P JV which is expected to deliver a peak production of 50kbopd and 120mmscfd by 2019, the corporation had maintained commitment to repayment of cash calls arrears where about $1 billion of $5 billion indebtedness has been settled,” Baru, was quoted to have said in the statement.

His disclosure suggested that the corporation still had about $4.1 billion to pay off in the negotiated cash call arrears. Although, part of the agreements reached with the IOCs in this regards was that the repayment will be based on incremental oil production.

Notwithstanding, the IOCs have expressed delights at the repayment process which the NNPC reportedly started more than a year ago, stating also that with it, they now have some level of confidence to go on with their investments in the country’s oil industry.

Baru equally said in his message to NNPC workers that the oil corporation will remain globally competitive to ensure value addition to Nigeria.

He said: “Going forward, our priority will be to remain globally competitive. In pursuing this, we will ensure the gradual transition of NNPC from an integrated oil and gas company to an energy company.

“We will also review our business models to reflect current operations reality with improved profitability, transparency and accountability as the cornerstone.”

Baru explained that the NNPC will pursue improved relationships with local communities, states, local governments and security formations in the country.

The NNPC, he stressed, had remained a critical gas supplier to the domestic market with a dominant market share, adding that it now supplied an average of 720 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/day) to the power sector, representing about 47 per cent of total gas supply to the domestic gas market.

Despite the obvious challenges and poor showings of the corporation’s refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna, Baru said the refineries have remained operational and strategic in their contribution to petroleum products availability to support domestic supply across Nigeria.

He also stated that he had institutionalised transparency in the bid processes for contracts for lifting of crude oil from the country.

Meanwhile, NNPC Retail Limited, the downstream subsidiary of NNPC, said it has embarked on a nationwide audit of its field operation to ensure all the trucks it has delisted from its use were in compliance with the requirement to remove its logo and other brand attributes from them.

Ughamadu said in a separate statement that the move had become imperative to ensure that only authentic NNPC Retail tested and certified trucks bore its logo and brand insignia.

He said as market leaders in the downstream retail business, the audit would help instill lasting sanity in the petroleum products haulage space across the country.

He also explained that a trending social media video that suggested a leaky fuel truck bearing an NNPC Retail like insignia and speeding off along a nondescript highway was not its own, adding that there was nothing concrete in the online video to show that the truck belonged to the NNPC Retail fleet.

“Unfortunately, our in-house investigation has been constrained by the lack of a plate number on the said truck and other identification marks we normally stencil on all authentic NNPC Retail trucks across the country,” Ughamadu explained.

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