Niger Delta: IOC commends Nigeria for improved security

Kalu Kalu, Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Logo

The Nigerian Government and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have been commended for the improved security situation in the Niger Delta which has positively affected operations of the International Oil Companies in the Country.

This commendation was given by the Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Eni, Mr. Antonio Vella, when he led the management team of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, in Abuja.

Mr. Vella said that the prevailing peace and security in the Niger Delta region of the country has increased investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s petroleum industry, adding that NAOC is considering doubling its investment in the country.

“The steps the GMD has taken have greatly improved security in our area of operations, that is very important to us as it has given us confidence to come back strongly and raise oil and gas production. And that is what we are doing; we are increasing our budget in Nigeria because we have confidence in Dr. Baru and the entire system”, Mr Vella said.

He also disclosed that NAOC was redoubling its efforts on the ongoing expansion of the Okpai Independent Power Project and the Zabazaba Project to achieve early completion as a result of the improved operating environment.

He also stated that the Okpai IPP expansion would be completed by the second quarter of next year and would raise the power generating capacity of the plant by over fifty percent.

Responding, the NNPC GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said his management is focusing on making the operating environment safe and conducive for more investors to come in.

He expressed optimism that the increase in production achieved by Agip would boost the nation’s chances of meeting production and reserve targets.

Accountability and Transparency
In the same vein, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) also commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on its efforts at improving accountability and transparency in Nigeria’s Oil sector.

The Acting Chairman of RMAFC, Alhaji Shettima Abba Gana, gave the commendation when he led the management team of the commission on a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.

He said RMAFC, as a revenue monitor and auditor, was satisfied with the steps taken so far by the Dr. Baru-led management to improve accountability and transparency in running the corporation especially concerning the publication of the Corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report, which he described as a radical departure from the past.

Alhaji Gana also stated that RMAFC would continue to regularly interface with NNPC to ensure that the Federation Account was properly funded, adding that the commission stayed away from the recent controversy over remittances because it believed that such issues could be resolved amicably through proper dialogue.

He then called for the enhancement of NNPC businesses through the allocation of more oil assets to enable it operate like other national oil companies across the globe, stressing that as an entity that generates about 80 per cent of the nation’s revenue, there is the need for the Federal Government to empower the Corporation to generate more revenue to take care of the nation’s growing population.

Responding, Dr. Baru, explained that NNPC, apart from being a government agency responsible for the supervision of government’s investments in the oil and gas industry, it is also a business enterprise and petroleum products supplier of last resort.

He noted that since September 2017 when most of the major marketers stopped the importation of petroleum products, NNPC, as the supplier of the last resort, had been importing petroleum products into the country to guarantee energy security.

He then called on RMAFC, as an independent arbiter, to use its privileged position to ensure the recovery of the cost borne by NNPC on behalf of the Federal Government.