By Emmanuel Nduka and Enyichukwu Enemanna
The Nigerian Government on Tuesday unveiled the new entity of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.
Speaking shortly before the unveiling at the State House, Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the “NNPC Limited will operate as a commercial, independent, and viable national oil company at par with its pairs around the world to sustainably deliver valuse to it’s over 200 million shareholders and the global energy community.”
The unveiling comes just in the middle of a hike in the pump price of petrol after months of staggering fuel scarcity and excruciating queues across filling stations in the country.
President Buhari noted that the new structure signals a new era of transparency, accountability and energy security for the country, adding that under the new dispensation, the NNPC Ltd will be free from Government funding and other bottlenecks such as the Treasury Single Account and procurement bureaucracies, among others.
“This is a landmark event for the oil industry. We are transforming our petroleum industry to strengthen its capacity and market relevance.
“The provision of PIA will make the NNPC conduct its business with transparency and commercial viability. On July 1, I authorized the transfer of assets from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to NNPC Ltd leading to the unveiling of Africa’s largest oil company today.
“It is mandated by law to ensure energy security as it delivers energy to the world,” the President added.
The unveiling event was attended by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, Chairman of the Board of NNPC Margary Okadigbo, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva, the Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajiabiamila and other top officials in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Transition Will Open Frontiers For Investment In Oil Sector — Sylva
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, noted that the transition from NNPC Group to NNPC Limited in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 will open up the oil and gas sector to attract more investment opportunities to boost the country’s gross domestic product.
Sylva while speaking at the unveiling ceremony, explained that the PIA has given Nigeria a golden opportunity to strengthen its institutions, improve regulatory and physical frameworks and attract the much-needed investments into the oil and gas sector.
He added, “Some of the golden opportunities presented by the reforms are coming at a time when the global energy convention is moving towards gas as a cleaner fuel.
“For a country so blessed in gas like ours, we cannot be happier and more excited. Let me therefore congratulate Mr. President, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC limited and indeed all Nigerians for this remarkable milestone.
“By this singular development, Mr. President has demonstrated his unshakable commitment of placing the entire Nigerian oil and gas industry on the path of growth, profitability and prosperity.
“One of the magnanimous provisions of the PIA, which is being unveiled at this important occasion is the transition of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into a fully commercial entity which would be a limited liability company.
“Incorporated under the Companies and Allies Matters Act to be known as NNPC Limited, the NNPC Limited will operate as a profitable commercial entity and declare dividends to its shareholders.”
NNPC Limited Poised To Drive Africa’s Energy Transition- Kyari
Also speaking, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Ltd, Mr. Mele Kyari said that with the official unveiling, the entity is better positioned to lead Africa in the drive for energy transitioning.
Kyari explained that the national oil company will lead the gradual transition to renewable energy by using natural gas transition to create low carbon alternatives to possibly change the story of energy in homes and around the world.
He commended the President for his doggedness in ensuring that a robust legislation in the form of the PIA is enactment for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
“For us in the energy sector your excellency, we cherish your reform decision that created the NNPC as a corporation in 1977.
“The courageous reform you have instituted in the passage of the petroleum industry in 2021, the leadership and direction you have given us in creating a viable and commercially driven energy company and your kind presence today to unveil yet another promise to our nation into the world, we will continue to be grateful to your legacies Mr. President and we are consistently transforming the Nigerian petroleum industry at different times over the year,” he said.