Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, overseeing activities in the country’s oil sector, in terms of operations. Some stakeholders, believe that the corporation is synonymous with corruption, an allegation that the state-owned oil company has denied, making its activities known through its monthly publication.

To buttress the fact that the NNPC is a transparent public Company, Umar Ajiya, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), recently spoke with energy correspondents in Lagos, where he represented the Group Managing Director, GMD, Mele Kolo Kyari, at the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC), annual conference and awards.

Ajiya said by 2023, just as the GMD has promised, the country’s refineries will work to optimal capacity and the corporation is working assiduously to put them in place.

Excerpts:

Transparency seems to be the next watchword for the corporation. Can you throw more light at what the corporation is planning or doing as far as transparency in the oil sector is concerned?

Our acronym stands for transparency, accountability, performance and excellence. By transparency we mean that there is nothing that we will do in the corporation that will be hidden to Nigerians and as such, we know that we are accountable to Nigerians and therefore they have a right to know what we are doing, because what we are managing, we are managing on behalf of Nigerians.

So, it is not the same NNPC that people see as a cult that nobody knows what its operations are?

Absolutely no. Going forward, most of what we do, you will find it in our website. Any Government agency, under the Freedom of Information Act, requiring any necessary information in the Corporation, such will be given freely.

Sir, you talked about reviving the refineries, what are exactly the challenges regarding optimal productivity of the refineries?

Actually, you will recall that these refineries were built many years ago. They are aged, and over the years, since the current President of Nigeria built them. The maintenance, and rehabilitation has never been done as at when due. They have gone to such a level, that their performance level is sub-optimal and uneconomical. What we are doing, is to scope what is needed to rehabilitate the refineries in order to bring them back to their name-plate capacities, before we begin to operate them. Failing to do that, we will be taking crude and sending them to those refineries, only to be destroying values. This is the essence behind the rehabilitation programme, which we are pursuing vigorously. We have commenced with the Port Harcourt refinery, and from there, we move to Warri, and Kaduna.

When will the Warri Refinery be completed?

We are starting with Port Harcourt. We are scoping, and it is a three-year programme for all the refineries. As the GMD said in his paper, by 2023 all these refineries will be back to their full potentials.

The new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has been unveiled, what level of relationship and cooperation are Nigerians expecting from the NNPC and the new minister, on like the past?

The Minister is a member of the family and NNPC will work very well with the incoming minister to deliver value to Nigerians.

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