With experience, Buhari has reformed nation’s oil sector, says APC group

An All Progressives Congress (APC) group, the APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign (LAC), has commended the Buhari administration for what it described as his unprecedented performance of the oil and gas sector.

The group, a voluntary think – tank of the ruling party, argues that with experience gathered from numerous years of engagement in the nation’s oil sector, President Buhari has actualized the desired reforms in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as the oil sector

LAC emphasised that through President Buhari’s sojourn at different times in the oil sector, he has laid a substantial groundwork for the national infrastructure that helped develop the industry, especially in pipelines, refineries, depots as well as the vision for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant.

The APC group in a statement signed by its coordinators, Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salisu Moh Lukman, noted that the published audited financial statements for 2018, 2019 and 2020 was the first of its kind since the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) came into existence 43 years ago.

‘President Buhari was the pioneer Chairman of the NNPC, between 1977 and 1978. Combining this with his role as Federal Commissioner of Petroleum and Natural Resources, it was one of the first public offices he held that brought him to national attention.

‘During that period, he laid the substantial groundwork for the national infrastructure that helped develop the industry – pipelines, refineries, depots, etc, and helped midwife the vision for a Liquefied Natural Gas plant.

‘Forty years later, the task has fallen upon him again to spearhead unparalleled reforms in the Corporation he helped establish. Under the president’s watch, since 2015, the National Oil Company has achieved the following, and more:

‘Published Audited Financial Statements for 2018, 2019 and 2020. This is the first published Audited Financial Statements since the NNPC came into existence 43 years ago.

‘Commenced clearing the backlog of Cash Call arrears owed International Oil Companies (IOCs), inherited from previous administrations, and amounting to more than five billion dollars.

‘Completed the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) Phase 2, doubling its capacity to 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas.

‘Commenced construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas pipeline, Nigeria’s biggest-ever domestic gas pipeline project.

‘Commenced the total revamp of the Port Harcourt refinery – yet another industry jinx being broken.

‘Resolved a 12-year-old dispute surrounding (Oil Mining Licence) OML 118, unlocking more than $10 billion of potential investment held up by the dispute.

They argued further that  the government has completed and commissioned integrated gas handling facility at Oredo, Edo State, which, in addition to producing 84 million cubic feet (mmcf) per day of lean gas (for power generation), will be the largest onshore LPG plant in Nigeria, producing an estimated 330 tonnes per day.

‘Co-invested with the private sector in the incorporation of a 600-million standard cubic feet (mscf) Gas Processing Plant in Imo State, a Biofuels Company in Ondo State, and a 10,000 tonnes per day Methanol Plant in Bayelsa State; among others.

‘Successfully taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to introduce an aggressive cost reduction and optimisation program that has helped return an unprecedented profit of N287 billion in the 2020 Financial Year.

‘According to the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mele Kyari, “the Corporation saved a lot of cost through contract renegotiation by up to 30 per cent on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, introduction of technology that drastically cut travel cost through reduction in in-person meetings and the general automation of processes that enhanced efficiency across the group’s businesses.’

Listing other giant strides recorded by the President Buhari led APC administration, LAC noted that ‘the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company Limited, which is 49 per cent owned by the NNPC, reached Final Investment Decision (FID) on its 7th Train, its first new Train in more than a decade.

‘The crowning achievement has been the presidential assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), after two decades of unsuccessful attempts. With the emergence of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), a new chapter has definitely commenced in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

‘New industry regulatory agencies have been established, to provide the necessary oversight befitting the new status quo, and the president has received National Assembly approval for his nominees to the management teams of these new agencies. It is truly a new dawn for oil and gas in Nigeria.

‘On Friday, October 8, 2021, President Buhari received the Certificate of Incorporation of the NNPC Limited, the successor company to the Corporation. The new NNPC is a Limited Liability Company, subject to the Companies and Allied Matters Act — itself another legislation that has seen comprehensive reform under President Buhari’s watch, for the first time since it was originally passed more than three decades ago. The president’s promise to bring long overdue efficiency and transparency to the management of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources is being backed by action. And the journey has only just started. President Buhari will not slow down or relent in his NNPC reform efforts.

‘One of the many transformational legacies that will be associated with his administration will be the rebirth of the National Oil Company, and a repositioning that will set it on the path to becoming a world-class institution. In the president’s words, “an enduring National Energy Company that can compete with its global peers and deliver value to its shareholders, the Nigerian people,’ the statement read.

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