By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has promised to work closely with ENI/Agip to speedily resolve all pending issues that led to the suspension of cash call repayment to the international oil company.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, made the commitment Tuesday during a business visit by a delegation from ENi/Agip led by the Executive Vice-Chairman, sub-Saharan African Region and Chairman, ENI Exploration and Production in Nigeria, Mr. Brusco Guido.
According to a press release by the NNPC spokesman, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the GMD explained that the failure to pay cash call arrears in the last three months was deliberate and meant to ensure that the issues surrounding the agreement were settled.
“The money is there. It is ready. We will pay as soon as the issues are resolved by the end of the week,” Kyari stated.
On the issue of some of the expired assets, the GMD explained that there was no immediate plan to renew the licences as the federal government was interested in having the exploration and production arm of the NNPC, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), operate them.
On the Okpai Independent Power Project, Mele Kyari explained that the issues that led to the delay in payment have been resolved and that payment would be effected as soon as possible.
“We will work with you. You can count on us,” he assured the Agip team, urging them to fast-track the phase one of the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery to ensure that it was delivered before the scheduled date of October 2019.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Vice-Chairman, sub-Saharan African Region and Chairman, ENI Exploration and Production in Nigeria, Mr. Brusco Guido, said the company was fully aligned with the GMD’s three-point agenda of growing reserves, growing production and cutting cost.
He however listed a number of challenges that had hampered its operation and urged the NNPC management to help resolve them in order to meet its target of growing production from the JV assets by 30 per cent over last year’s rate.