High, low expectations as Buhari unveils new NNPC

Written by on July 20, 2022

After 45 years of its creation and perpetual loss-making, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, unveiled a new Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, a development that is generating dissent among stakeholders.

Going by provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), NNPC had on July 1, 2022, legally transformed into a company that would be regulated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA.

At the moment, stakeholders are totally unsure about how the new company would deal with legacy issues, including redundant staff, religious and ethnic considerations, government and political interference, extant liability, compulsory commitment to frontier exploration, mounting pressure over energy transition, derelict refineries and over 90 per cent loss-making subsidiaries.

Across the world, national oil companies are making profits but NNPC has not declared a profit in over 45 years.Unveiling the new NNPC, Buhari still dwelt on the role of the company as the last resort, affirming that the company is mandated by law to ensure that Nigeria’s national energy security is guaranteed.

He expressed optimism that NNPC Limited will sustainably deliver value to its over 200 million shareholders and the global energy community; operate without relying on government funding and be free from institutional regulations such as the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

According to the President, NNPC will conduct itself under the best international business practice in transparency, governance and commercial viability.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the signing of the PIA provided international and local oil firms adequate protection for their investments, adding that the nation’s petroleum industry is no longer rudderless.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, announced that the company had adopted a strategic initiative to achieve the mandate of energy security for the country by rolling out a comprehensive expansion plan to grow its fuel retail presence from 547 to over 1,500 outlets within the next six months.

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