Chineme Okafor in Abuja
In a move certain to raise eyebrows reminiscent of the outcry over the proposal on the sale of the country’s strategic oil and gas assets, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it is working on new modalities that would allow it to fund its joint venture (JV) cash call obligations in the future, as well as pay off the arrears on the JVs from oil and gas royalties and taxes.
It said under the planned model, such payments would be deducted through a first line charge, implying that this will leave less funds to the three tiers of government to share.
It disclosed this yesterday in a statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mallam Garuba Deen Muhammad in Abuja.
NNPC quoted its Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Baru, as speaking on the new modalities at a one-day working visit to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a corporate service unit (CSU) of the NNPC responsible for the management of the federal government’s oil and gas portfolios in the upstream sector.
Baru said that the current JV payment structure requires an urgent review, noting that the new model being proposed by the NNPC would enable it plough back its profits and grow the oil and gas business in the upstream for the benefit of all stakeholders.
According to the statement, he urged the management and staff of NAPIMS to carry out their assignments with professional integrity by benchmarking their operations with global best practices.
He also disclosed that the 12-key business focus areas of the NNPC under his watch were targeted at rejuvenating the entire business operations of the corporation to enable it deliver on its core mandate to all its stakeholders.
He described NAPIMS as a strategic CSU and asked for maximum support from its staff to enable NNPC meet its set goals in the short, medium and long-term.
The statement also said the Group General Manager of NAPIMS, Mr. Dafe Sajebor, who was represented by the General Manager, Production Sharing Contract, Mr. James Jock, in his remarks, assured Baru that NAPIMS would work towards the efficient management of all JVs and production sharing contracts, even in the face of dwindling crude oil prices and incessant pipeline vandalism.
Baru, in a separate meeting, also promised to reposition the National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO) into the engineering, procurement and construction company of choice.
He made this commitment during the maiden town hall meeting with the management and staff of NETCO at its headquarters in Lagos.
He said NETCO, as a strategic business unit (SBU), had over the years delivered profits to NNPC. He assured his audience that NETCO would continue to play the pivotal role of providing in-house professional engineering services to all the autonomous business units (ABUs) of the corporation and other clients.
The Managing Director of NETCO, Siky Aliyu, noted in the statement that NETCO was challenged by low patronage by some ABUs of NNPC and the international oil companies (IOCs).
Aliyu however said the company was determined to harness all opportunities in the oil and gas project portfolios in order to keep reporting a positive bottom-line.