NNPC in Talks with Investors for R&D, Shipping Businesses

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is in talks with American and Chinese investors interested in working to grow the corporation’s business interests in the non-core oil sectors of its operations.

The corporation, which disclosed this in a statement, added that so far, it has identified potential investors to collaborate with in expanding its research and development (R&D), health, shipping and telecommunications business interests.
These investors, it noted are Americans and Chinese.

According to the corporation, the collaboration was necessary following the volatility in crude oil prices in the international market.
NNPC explained that it would look to its non-core oil sector to stay afloat, adding that it has specifically established contacts with some Chinese investors to partner in its R&D venture.

The statement quoted the Chief Operating Officer in charge of Ventures at the corporation, Dr. Babatunde Adeniran to have said this at the recent 10th edition of the Annual sub-Saharan Africa Oil and Gas Conference in Houston, Texas, where he affirmed that response from the Chinese prospects had been favourable.
Adeniran, the statement noted, said the NNPC had also extended it dragnet to American investors who he affirmed were interested in working with the corporation on R&D.

He said there had been low investment in R&D in the industry in sub-Sahara Africa, thus necessitating NNPC’s commitment to key in to maximise available opportunity in the sub-sector and region.

Adeniran, further outlined in the statement which was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, other non-core oil and gas sectors that are of interest to NNPC to include healthcare, shipping and telecommunications.

On health, he stated that NNPC has 52 clinics across Nigeria, indicating it perhaps has the largest healthcare investment owned by a single business entity in Nigeria.

“NNPC Medical is already talking to top class medical centres across the world for partnership. Billions of dollars went into medical tourism in Nigeria yearly. NNPC is poised to take advantage of the gaps in the healthcare delivery in Nigeria,” said Adeniran.

In a similar development, the corporation also disclosed that it has received about 34 bids submitted by different companies for the digitisation of all of its legacy documents domiciled in its corporate headquarters.

It explained that the bid opening exercise was conducted in the full glare of representatives of the bidding companies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Abuja.

Quoting its Group General Manager, Information and Technology Division (ITD), Mr. Danladi Inuwa, at the bid opening, the corporation said the exercise was geared towards having electronic copies of all NNPC documents in line with global best practices.

“I am happy that there is much show of interest in this process. The process is going to be transparent from the beginning to the end and we want the best yield in terms of value addition and best services and this was why the bid tender was extended to twelve (12) weeks,” Inuwa who was represented by represented by General Manager Applications, Mr. Kunle Osobu.

The statement also quoted the General Manager, Supply Chain Management (SCM) of NNPC, Mrs. Sophia Mbakwe, as saying that the corporation would seek to engage the services of reputable organisations that would digitise its legacy documents.

Mbakwe stated that the process would be transparent, in line with the corporation’s bid to reposition its business activities as an accountable organisation.