Seventy-eight companies have bided for contracts to rehabilitate Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) downstream pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure through the Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT).
The Corporation in a statement on Sunday by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, in Abuja said bids which were done virtually were for the pre-qualification of rehabilitation of NNPC downstream critical pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure.
Speaking at the bid opening in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated that the exercise was in fulfilment of NNPC’s commitment to transparency and accountability as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) partner company and as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari that all its operations must be guided by integrity.
He explains: “This is not possible to achieve if we do not have the leadership disposition that is in support of transparency. I can confirm to all of you that it is the clear directive of Mr. President that this company must be accountable and must be transparent to its shareholders. We must take all necessary steps to make sure that our transactions are known to the citizens of this country, that we do things for the common good of all of us and that in doing our business, we must ensure integrity”.
He noted that as an EITI partner company, NNPC is a global company, completely transparent to its shareholders and stakeholders stressing that the Corporation must always disclose her transactions, contracting processes, selection of its partners, identities of partners and beneficial owners of the partners.
“Nobody will cut corners, nobody will cheat the shareholders of this company and also this company will ultimately deliver value to its shareholders,” Mallam Kyari stated.
He said the Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model became imperative in the Corporation’s journey to rehabilitate its downstream infrastructure which over time has become vulnerable, lost value and integrity due to age and incessant vandalism.
“Some of these assets are as old as forty years and they are due for replacement and when you want to do a replacement of this scale, you do need a lot of resources. And we know that we require these assets so we decided that we bring in private partners who will fund these pipelines, they will construct it, they will operate it with us and then ultimately they will fully recover their investment from the tariff which we will pay for using these pipelines and as soon as they recover their cost and their margin, they will hand over these assets back to us,” he stated.
Mallam Kyari averred that by the end of the first quarter of 2021, the final partners of the bid opening would be selected.
He assured the bidders that the NIPEX portal which was deployed for the pre-qualification exercise was a time tested technology that would not give room for any human indiscretion.
On his part, the Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, commended NNPC leadership for totally driving a transparent bid opening processes for the rehabilitation of its pipelines and critical downstream infrastructure.
He noted that NNPC is showing to the world that things could be done correctly such that would yield value for Nigerians.
Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Ms Lawrencia Ndupu, who was represented by the Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, Musa Lawan, said the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) operates 5,120 length of pipelines which traverses the entire country with two coastal depots in Lagos and Calabar assuring that the public bid opening processes is being done transparently.
Other external observers who witnessed the exercise were Bureau of Public Procurement, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Civil Liberty Organization and the Centre for Transparency Watch.