By Dipo Awojobi – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the NNPC is to be unbundled into 30 profit-making companies with separate Managing Directors in the weeks ahead as part of the ongoing transformation of the national oil company.
Dr. Kachikwu made this disclosure at the 25th Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum in Abuja with the theme: “Technological Advances in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Exploitation: Solutions to Global Oil Price Stability”.
The Minister stated that the NNPC has been moved from a loss position of N160 billion to some N3 billion by January 2016, adding that by year end the Corporation should start making some profit.
“For the first time, we are unbundling the subset of the NNPC to 30 independent companies with their own Managing Directors. Titles like Group Executive Directors are going to disappear and in their place you are going to have Chief Executive Officers and they are going to take responsibilities for their titles. At the end of the day, the CEO of an upstream company must deliver an upstream result,” Dr. Kachikwu stated.
He also informed that as part of measures to stabilize crude oil prices, some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are scheduled to meet with Russia on 20th March, 2016, in Moscow to fine tune collaborative strategies.
The Minister noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is focusing on developing the nation’s gas resources in order to boost revenue as part of the diversification policy of the Federal Government.
Dr. Kachikwu said the petroleum sector, under his watch, would rapidly review the contracting cycle of projects from two years to six months in the upstream, stressing that efforts are in top gear to review the existing Production Sharing Contracts which is long overdue.
The Minister applauded the National Assembly on their efforts on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which he said would go a long way to promote efficiency in the governance structure of the industry.
He noted that for the Nigerian oil and gas industry to make remarkable progress, there is need for all the stakeholders in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors to be on the same page on cost control, contracting circle, technology and environmental issues.
He called on stakeholders to adopt integrated approach towards resolving some of the challenges of the industry in Nigeria.
In his welcome remarks, the Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Engr. George Kalu, said the Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum of this year coincides with 60 years of oil exploration and production in Nigeria, adding that the low price of crude oil affords Nigeria the opportunity to reduce cost through industry collaboration.