New Telegraph

NNPC rules out equity sale, crashes JV debts to $2bn


Stakeholders at the NAPE 45th anniversary lecture advocated establishment of energy ban


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the weekend ruled out the sale of its multi-billion dollar equity in oil assets across the country to investors, declaring that this is the wrong time to venture into that.


Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, who gave this hint in a keynote address at the 45th Anniversary Lecture of the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), maintained that the Corporation was proactive, bearing in mind the place of oil and gas in the next 40 to 50 years.


Kyari’s statement was elaborated by Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NNPC, Meyiwa Eyesan, who declared that NNPC had crashed its cash call debts in the joint ventures (JVs) with international oil companies (IOCs) to above $2 billion.


The reduction, she declared, was achieved between 2015 and 2020 from $5 billion in 2015 to over $2 billion in five years, paying about $3 billion of the JV cash call arrears. Like Kyari, Eyesan attributed this feat to the efficient business plan put in place by the Corporation. Speaking at the lecture held virtually in commemoration of the first Akomeno Oteri Annual Lecture themed: “Long-term funding for e&p business in Nigeria: Strategies and


sustainability,” the Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy declared that the corporation was not in dire need to sell off its equities in oil companies that are in partnership with NNPC. Responding to the suggestion that NNPC should shed its financial burdens in JVC commitments, she maintained that the Corporation had gained traction to efficiently partner with other oil companies in the country.


“This is the wrong time to sell our equity to any trusted partners,” she said. She pointed out that NNPC, as at today, was upbeat with the current plan to open the $2.3 billion domestic gas market and rehabilitate the nation’s refineries. She maintained that NNPC had decided not to do it alone, but go into partnership with the private investors.


“What we have done in the upstream sector is what we are going to replicate in the downstream by going into partnership with private investors,” she noted. According to her, it’s going to be seen in the rehabilitation of the old pipelines and the refineries.


“The pipelines and the refineries are open to partnership on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) bases,” she explained. Meanwhile, in his opening remark, Kyari said that NAPE should be forward looking and proactive, bearing in mind the place of oil and gas in the next 40 to 50 years.


According to him, NAPE should ensure that it remains relevant in the coming years. The NNPC boss said that there is the need to monetise the resources from oil and gas sector as    well as boost the domestic market for petroleum products. Other panelists, who participated on the online lecture, advocated the establishment of energy bank as a means to properly fund the oil and gas sector.


According to them, given the paucity of fund post-COVID-19 due to fall in the oil price, one per cent of their turnover being contributed to the National Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) should be the take off fund for the energy bank.



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