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NNPC: Government Killed The Refineries As National Assembly Moves To Amend PSC

By Suleiman Umaru

Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director, GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has shown that he is not politician, who could speak with other side of his mouth, as he has sent a signal to President Muhammadu Buhari, and who incidentally is the minister of Petroleum Resources, that he would be feeding Nigerians with the truth about the state of the nations’  Oil Industry. 

For years, past GMD of the Oil Conglomerate and other top government functionaries, had played politics with the state of the nation’s Oil Industry, particular, the state of the four refineries across the country  with  a combined Capacity refining capacity of 425,000 barrels per day and why they are  working in bits and fits.

Already the NNPC GMD of NNPC,  has told Nigerians that he has nothing to hide about the nation’s refineries when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum upstream recently. For the first time, an NNPC  GMD has come out to lay the blame on the poor state of the refineries on the government.

Given an insider information, Kyari, who could not hide his feelings  disclosed that the failure of the four refineries  across the country  to function to optimum capacity was due to the refusal of the  government  to ‘’take care of  them’’, stressing that  past and present Administrations have no reason to do so.

He stopped short of saying that the government  failed to rehabilitate the refineries because of the influence  of   the trading Companies and their sponsors, who have won the contract to  import petroleum products   from the offshore refineries which are  refining the country’s Crude Oil Allocation of 425,00 barrels meant for the  local refineries. 

The NNPC boss ,appears to have sent a signal to the trading Companies and their sponsors, that the game is over as the Corporation under his close watch has decided to take care of the refineries to put them back to work.

He may have given Nigerians hope when he said there  is no scarcity of skilled people in the Corporation to do do the work , nothing that the will is there to actualize the plan. ‘’I assure you that the plans we have  put in place will make the refineries to work without fear of breakdown , he told the Committee.

Mele Kolo Kyari: GMD, NNPC

The NNPC helmsman , said  the Lawmakers have no cause to worry about the capabilities of NNPC Engineers to do the work as Nigeria have the best refineries in the world’’. 

Perhaps, to ensure an  increase in Crude oil Allocation, the  Senate, under  the current leader of Ahmad Lawan, has moved to amend the  country ‘s production  Sharing Contract, PSC, with the Oil Producing  Companies. Lawan, who is the Senate President , believes that the amendment of the PSC, will put more more into the coffers of the government  to provide infrastructural facilities in the country and maintain the exiting ones  which have dilapidated over the years.

This is bad news for Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and the other oil producing Companies who had taken advantage of the PSC deal to shortchange the government over the years as it will lay the foundation for the passage of the   Petroleum Industry bill , which had been  delayed for too long.

The Senate President may have hit the nail on the head when he said the Amendment  of the PSC  will give the country an edge over the oil producing companies  as it will have more say in  the business of the  oil in the oil and gas industry  by contracting  more investments. This year, he government has targeted an oil production of  3mbpd, before the end of 2023.

Kyari led management of NNPC , may have put in in place a number of intervention measures to achieve the target . Some of the intervention measures, according to the NNPC GMD, include the  search for oil in the frontier basins which had led to the discovery of   the black gold in  the Gongola basin .  The NNPC , GMD , is optimistic of  discoveries  of more oil in other basins  including the Anambra platform   and some part of  Benue, Niger  and the Chad basin, with the intensified search for oil in the basins.

The President has set a revenue target of N2.64 trillion based on the projections  from the planned restructuring  of the country’s Joint Venture  Oil and Gas Assets and enactment of  of a new PSC.It not surprising why the National Assembly has put the machinery  in motion  to pass the enabling legislation  for these reforms  in the Oil sector  which the President is anxiously waiting for to sign into Law.

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