CEM REPORT | President Muhammadu Buhari has said the Nigerian petroleum industry has been transformed with the privatization of National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited adding that it will ensure energy security in the country.
He said NNPC as Africa’s largest National Oil Company (NOC) would also support sustainable growth across other sectors of the economy as it delivers energy to the world.
The President stated this while speaking at the unveiling new NNPC Limited at State House Conference Centre, on Tuesday in Abuja.
“Our country places a high premium in creating the right atmosphere that supports investment and growth to boost our economy and continue to play an important role in sustaining global energy requirements.
“We are transforming our petroleum industry, to strengthen its capacity and market relevance for the present and future global energy priorities.”
The President further said that the NOC is empowered by the Petroleum Industry Act, adding that the company will operate without relying on government funding and institutional regulations
While expressing optimism that NNPC Limited will sustainably deliver value to over 200 million shareholders and the global energy community, he noted that, the company will operate according to laws that guide the industry.
“The provisions of PIA 2021, have given the Nigerian petroleum industry a new impetus, with the improved fiscal framework, transparent governance, enhanced regulation and the creation of a commercially-driven and independent National Oil Company that will operate without relying on government funding and free from institutional regulations such as the Treasury Single Account, Public Procurement and Fiscal Responsibility Acts.
“It will, of course, conduct itself under the best international business practice in transparency, governance and commercial viability.”
President Buhari recalled his accomplishments in the petroleum sector in the past 45 years.
“By chance of history, I was privileged to lead the creation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on the 1st July 1977. Forty-Four (44) years later, I was again privileged to sign the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021, heralding the long-awaited reform of our petroleum sector.
“Coincidentally, I, on the 1st of July 2022 authorized the transfer of assets from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to its successor company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and steered the implementation leading to the unveiling of Africa’s largest National Oil Company today.
“I, therefore, thank Almighty God for choosing me to consistently play an important role in shaping the destiny of our National Oil Company from the good to the great.”
While thanking the leadership and members of the National Assembly for demonstrating uncommon courage and patriotism in the passage of PIA that culminated in the creation of NNPCL. He added that the company would focus on becoming a dynamic global energy company of choice to deliver energy for today, for tomorrow, for the day after tomorrow.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said with the signing of the PIA, which assures international and local oil companies of adequate protection for their investments, the nation’s petroleum industry is no longer rudderless.
“From the onset of this administration, Mr. President never concealed his desire to create a more conducive environment for growth of the oil and gas sector, and addressing legitimate grievances of communities most impacted by extractive industries,” Sylva said.
“While the country was waiting for the PIA, Nigeria’s oil and gas industry lost about $50 billion worth of investments. In fact, between 2015 and 2019, KPMG states that “only 4 percent of the $70 billion investment inflows into Africa’s oil and gas industry came to Nigeria even though the country is the continent’s biggest producer and the largest reserves.
“We are setting all these woes behind us, and a clear path for the survival and growth of our petroleum industry is now before us.”
Sylva thanked the President for his unparalleled leadership, steadfastness, and unalloyed support for ensuring that the country’s oil and gas industry is on a sound footing.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, announced that the company had adopted a strategic initiative to achieve the mandate of energy security for the country by rolling out a comprehensive expansion plan to grow its fuel retail presence from 547 to over 1500 outlets within the next six months.
He assured stakeholders and the global energy community that the new company was endowed with the “best human resources one can find anywhere in the industry.
“NNPC Limited is positioned to lead Africa’s gradual transition to new energy by deepening natural gas production to create low carbon activities and positively change the story of energy poverty at home and around the world.”