BY Onome Amuge.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) will henceforth sustainably deliver more value to its over 200 million shareholders and the global energy community following its recognition as a commercial and independent national oil company at par with its peers around the world.
The new entity will also operate without expecting financial support from the federal government, nor would it be mandated to transfer its revenue to the treasury single account (TSA) as required from other government-owned corporations.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Tuesday during the official unveiling of the new brand of the NNPC Limited held at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
Buhari, who described the development as a landmark event for the Nigerian oil industry, said NNPC Ltd will operate under the oversight of international law as it relates with the oil industry, subject to the international business practices in transparency, governance and commercial viability.
The Nigerian president also affirmed that the company is mandated by law to ensure that Nigeria’s national energy security is guaranteed and aimed at implementing some provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
‘‘Our country places 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,” Buhari said.
‘‘We are transforming our petroleum industry to strengthen its capacity and market relevance for the present and future global energy priorities,” he said.
Buhari recalled that he was privileged to lead the creation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on 1 July, 1977, noting that he was been privileged yet again 44 years later to sign the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021, heralding the long-awaited reform of the petroleum sector.
According to him, the provisions of PIA 2021 have given the Nigerian petroleum industry a new impetus, with 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.
‘‘Coincidentally, I, on the 1st of July 2022 authorized 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,” he added.
The president further assured that the company would focus on becoming a dynamic global energy company of choice to deliver sustainable energy.
Also speaking at the event, Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum, described the unveiling of NNPC Limited as a new dawn in the quest for the growth and development of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, while also opening new vintages for partnerships.
On his part, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited, said 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 1,500 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”.
Kyari also expressed confidence that 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 locally and around the world.