By Afeez Olawoyin
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation is now in a better position to compete favourably with leading international oil companies around the world following its transition to an independent limited liability company
NEITI also said it welcomes the NNPC’s
transition in line with the recommendations of NEITI industry reports for the oil and gas sector covering 1999 to 2019 which equally led to the emergence of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
A statement signed by Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah, Head, Communications and Advocacy, said in the NEITI oil and gas reports that covered 1999 – 2019, the agency has consistently recommended that Nigeria’s national oil company should be privatized to make it competitive like other national oil companies across the globe.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji who was at the unveiling ceremony held in Abuja on Tuesday, expressed hope that with this transition to a commercial entity, the NNPC is now in a better position to compete favourably with leading international oil companies around the world.
“Nigeria needs a business oriented NNPC to deliver the country’s energy needs, energy transition, energy security, diversification of its economy and the building of a sustainable energy future for the country”, Dr. Orji added.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary further explained that the immediate challenges that the new NNPC needs to tackle is to free Nigeria from fuel importation.
He added that: “The immediate questions that an average Nigerian is asking are what is likely to change from the NNPC we know and the new NNPC Limited? What will happen to jobs, institutions, profit making, transparency and accountability?”
He commended the new team in NNPC and the present administration for the political will to get this reform done. Dr. Orji expressed confidence that the NNPC Ltd will leave up to its obligations as a supporting company of the global EITI.
The agency reiterated its call on the federal government to replicate the same feat for the solid minerals sector.
According to the transparency boss, “Nigeria’s solid minerals sector also needs a holding company similar to NNPC Limited.
NEITI is advocating for the NLNG model which has proven to be sustainable, profitable and accountable. Despite the challenges faced by the oil and gas sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, NLNG in Nigeria posted profits and even dividends.
This is remarkable”, Dr. Orji enthused.
With this unveiling, some of the provisions in the PIA have been met, while NNPC ranks among national oil and gas companies to be publicly listed in Africa with an initial share capital of N200Billion and net assets of more than $59Billion.
NEITI is confident that the Petroleum Industry Act Steering Committee (PIASTEERCO), to which it is a member, will ensure that the provisions of the PIA are implemented to the letter and Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is positioned for a profitable and sustainable future.