The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) started it activities for the new week with words of commendation from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Ogbonnaya Orji, stated at the first National Extractives Dialogue (NED) held in Abuja, that the NNPC Ltd. was now compliant with transparency regulations and that they had become more responsive to audit queries.
The event was co-hosted by NEITI and Spaces for Change (S4C), an indigenous civil society organisation, with support of the Ford Foundation.
It was designed to provide stakeholders in the extractive industry a platform to discuss the issues of contract transparency, extractive resources benefits sharing and energy transition in West Africa.
In his opening remarks, Orji said NIETI was proud to see that some of the legal reforms it clamoured for were now being implemented in the oil and gas industry with NNPC now more compliant than ever.
“In Nigeria, we have clamoured for reforms; we are proud to witness some of the legal reforms we clamoured for now taking place.”
He stated that the involvement of Spaces for Change in the programme was in line with NEITI’s objective of deepening engagements with credible civil society organisations.
Speaking at the event, the GMD/CEO of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said that the company had done so much to keep to the tenets of transparency in every area of its operations.
Kyari, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Mr Chris Akamiro, said NNPC now implements audit recommendations and was keen on expanding the frontiers of its engagement, by reporting information on upstream costs and revenues.
He said that the ongoing transition to a limited liability company was aimed at repositioning the Company in line with global best practices and in preparation for energy transition.
Kyari stated that the natural resources from the extractive industries were only beneficial when they were extracted in a responsible and cost-effective manner, and the revenues accruing were promptly remitted to the coffers of government.
He said that the low performance of the industry in terms of profitability and contribution to the economy was due to opacity which he said prompted the call for action by stakeholders on the need for a more transparent and accountable industry.
In the meantime, the NNPC Greenfield Refinery Ltd. a subsidiary of the NNPC Ltd. revved up engagement with a Chinese firm, Sedin Engineering to set up a 100,000 barrel per stream day co-located refinery at the complex of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Ekpan, Delta State.
The move was part of efforts by the NNPC to boost the nation’s refining capacity with a view to exiting importation and turning Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products.
Speaking at the meeting, the Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemicals, Mr Mustapha Yakubu, disclosed that engagement with Sedin Engineering had been on for over two years and that the original plan was for the company to establish a number of brownfield refineries across the country.
He said that the original plan had been modified and streamlined over the series of previous engagements to arrive at the establishment of a single 100,000bpsd at the WRPC complex.
He stressed that the firm had commenced feasibility study and that it was the hope of Management to conclude all necessary negotiations speedily so that the project can take off.
In a presentation at the meeting, the Manager, Technical, NGRL, Mr Samuel Ajayi, stated that apart from the proposed co-located refinery by Sedin Engineering, NGRL was working in partnership with other companies to set up two other co-located refineries.
Ajayi said one would be located at WRPC, while the other would be located at the Port Harcourt Refining Company complex in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He also said that there would be four condensate refineries and a modular refinery.
The Sedin Engineering Team was represented by Mr Shagaya, Mr Ma and Ambassador Rasak Lawal, Chairman of Ram Energy.
Kyari gave the assurance at a Transition Consultation Engagement with the national leaders of the unions led by the President of PENGASSAN, Mr Festus Osifo, and President of NUPENG, Mr William Akporeha, which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
This development came ahead of the July 1 date for the commencement of operations as a limited liability company.
According to Kyari, consultations with labour Union is a continuous process as they are critical stakeholders whose input is required to achieve the desired objective of establishing a commercially focused limited liability company with a top-class governance structure.
Kyari said efficient regulatory framework that guarantees energy security, creates prosperity for the common good and benefit of all and sundry.
“The law under new transition guarantees that no one will lose his entitlement, it guarantees a fluid industry to create value chain and add value system that will benefit others more than oneself.”
He informed the labour leaders that the most significant aspect of the NNPC transition was that power should be returned to the workers such that no one can single-handedly take any major decision.
He added that it placed workers and other stakeholders at the centre of the decision-making process for the common good.
In his response, the President of PENGASSAN, Mr Festus Osifo, commended Kyari for piloting the NNPC transition with a human face.
He expressed satisfaction that priority was being given to issues of employees’ happiness and remuneration in the transition process, noting that they were key to the organisation’s output.
Osifo also pledged the total support of PENGASSAN to the NNPC transition process.
“We will partner with you GMD; we are hundred per cent prepared to partner with you to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.
“We have made that commitment that we are going to walk side by side to ensure that all the wonderful and lofty visions that are behind the laws of the PIA, are well delivered.”
Speaking in similar vein, the President of NUPENG, Comrade William Akporeha, expressed total confidence in the capacity of Kyari to give due consideration to matters that were germane to workers’ wellbeing and welfare having been a former union leader himself.
Akporeha also pledged the full support and commitment of NUPENG to the NNPC transition and for all the steps being taken towards guaranteeing energy security to Nigerians.
Still in the week under review, the NNPC Ltd. again applauded the security agencies for their respective roles in ensuring the smooth business operations of the company.
The General Manager, Group Security Department, Abba Mohamed, gave the commendation at the 2nd Quarter 2022 Security Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the Group Security Department (GSD) of the Company at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
In his opening remark, Mohamed expressed appreciation to the security agencies for all the efforts made to secure NNPC’s businesses, personnel and facilities.
He said that NNPC cannot do it alone and would continuously require the assistance and collaboration of the security agencies and urged them to continue to support the company, especially at this time of its transition.
He noted that there had been noticeable improvement in the security around NNPC and its businesses since the inception of the quarterly meetings with security agencies.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives of the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Central Bank of Nigeria’s Security Department and Federal Fire Service.
The honour which involves a decoration with sash was conferred on Barkindo by the Austrian President, Alexander Van der Bellen, for enhancing the bilateral ties between the Organisation, its host country and the City of Vienna.
The decoration was presented during a visit by the Secretary-General to HE Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s Federal Minister of European and International Affairs.
The decoration is bestowed on citizens and foreigners who demonstrate outstanding merits and achieve exceptional accomplishments.
It is known in German as ‘das Grosse Silberne Ehrenzeichen am Bande für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich’.
Minister Schallenberg emphasised OPEC’s special position globally as well as in the international community in Vienna.
The Minister also commended the Secretary General on the role he played and the contributions he made to strengthening relations between Austria and OPEC.
In return, the Secretary-General expressed deep appreciation for the decoration and thanked the Austrian Government and people for their continuous support over the last six years, while highlighting Austria’s role as a host in this successful period of the organisation’s history.
“Austria is and will continue to be my second home,” he said.
Barkindo stated that “it is the honour of a lifetime to receive such a decoration.
“This special recognition is bestowed on all Member Countries of the Organisation and the gallant staff of the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna”.
OPEC enjoyed close relations with Austria since it moved its headquarters to Vienna in 1965, five years after the founding of the Organisation.
Meanwhile, the quest by the NNPC Limited to revive the nation’s refining capacity through the rehabilitation of the existing refineries received a boost with the award of the contract for the rehabilitation of the Warri Refinery to Daewoo Nigeria Ltd.
There was also a promise to get the plant back on stream before the end of 2023.
The Managing Director of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Mr Babatunde Bakare, disclosed this at the Quick–Fix Maintenance Service Contract Award Signing ceremony held in Abuja.
He said that the timeline for the completion of Areas 1 and 2 was 12 months from the commencement of work, adding that the refinery would operate at sixty per cent of its installed capacity after the completion of the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit, FCC.
Speaking earlier, the NNPC Ltd. GMD, Malam Mele Kyari, tasked the contracting company, Daewoo Nigeria Ltd., on the timely completion of the rehabilitation project.
The GMD who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Refineries and Petrochemicals, Mr Mustapha Yakubu, expressed confidence in the capacity of Daewoo to execute the contract, stressing that getting the refinery back on stream was very important to the economy.
On his part, the chief executive officer of Daewoo worldwide, Baek Jung Wan, who spoke through an interpreter, said his company was willing to work with NNPC to realise the objective of revamping the Warri Refinery.
Baek said that local processing of petroleum products was very critical to the Nigerian economy.