NNPC GMD, Mr. Andrew Yakubu
By Chineme Okafor
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, Monday disclosed that the country’s crude oil output has increased from 2.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 2.7 mbpd.
Yakubu told visiting Governor of Benue State, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, who led a delegation on a working visit to the NNPC Towers in Abuja, that the country’s crude oil production on Wednesday peaked at an all-time high of 2.7mbpd, adding that this was a first for the country since it started crude oil production over 50 years ago.
He attributed the increase in crude oil production to the security measures put in place by the Federal Government in the Niger Delta region, which according to him, was beginning to yield positive results.
Yabubu said in a statement from the acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the Corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple: “We want to thank the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for his great initiative to restore security with regards to pipelines and our crude oil production facilities and we thank the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, for driving the process.
“I am glad to report to you that in crude oil production, yesterday, we recorded an all-time high of 2.7 million barrels. This has not been recorded before.”
While appealing to all state and local governments, as well as communities and other stakeholders to work in partnership with the corporation to safeguard the pipelines and other strategic national assets, Yakubu explained that the effort will help reduce waste in the sector.
Nigeria, in the last couple of months, experienced a serious decline in revenue from crude oil production owing to increased activities of illegal bunkering and oil theft.
A few months ago, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, had warned that revenue due to the government from the country's oil resources would dwindle in the wake of increased crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
Sunmonu stated that an average of $5 billion was being lost by the country annually to oil theft. He warned that if left unchecked, the government will receive less of revenue from its crude oil resources.
Yakubu spoke about the corporation’s interest in collaborating with the Benue State Government in restoring the Makurdi petroleum products depot, adding that similar collaboration with the Abia State Government had recently led to the re-commissioning of the Aba depot after its closure for seven years.
“As soon as pipelines supplying petroleum products from Aba to Enugu and Enugu to Makurdi depots are certified, the corporation would commence immediate supply to the area.
“We have not had any negative report from Enugu to Makurdi pipelines and as soon as we do our integrity check and it’s okay, we will commence supply to the Makurdi depot,” Yakubu assured the delegation.
Speaking further on efforts by the corporation to improve gas infrastructure in the country, he noted that various gas pipeline projects are presently being undertaken across the country to support the industrialisation efforts of the Federal Government.
Yakubu also urged Suswam to assist in convincing his colleagues in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to buy into the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which was recently submitted to the National Assembly by Jonathan for consideration and passage into law, noting that the bill makes provisions for the growth of private initiatives in the petroleum industry.
Suswam, in his remarks, commended NNPC for its Kerosene Direct Initiative, adding that the scheme has helped tremendously in the distribution of the product to the people of the state.
According to him, the state government is willing to partner the corporation in the resuscitation and expansion of the Makurdi depot, development of gas infrastructure and the ethanol project of the corporation.
The high point of the visit was a presentation by the Benue State Government on the Makurdi tank farm.