The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said the transition of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to an independent limited liability company is a part of its recommendations for the petroleum industry.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who witnessed the unveiling on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed hope that the transition to a commercial entity places NNPC Limited in a better position to compete favourably with leading international oil companies (IOCs) globally.
Orji, in a statement by Head, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Mrs Obiageli Onuora, was quoted as saying the transition was in line with the recommendations of NEITI industry reports for the oil and gas sector.
The reports covered 1999 to 2019, which equally led to the emergence of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA).
In the said reports, he informed that NEITI had consistently recommended that Nigeria’s national oil company (NOC) should be privatised to make it competitive like other NOCs across the globe.
“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,” Orji added.
He however noted that the immediate challenges the new NNPC needed to tackle was to free Nigeria from fuel importation.
“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 said.
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.
Orji commended the new team in NNPC and the present administration for the political will to get this reform done, and expressed confidence that it would live up to its obligations as a supporting company of the global EITI.
He also called on the Federal Government to replicate the same feat for the solid minerals sector, saying: “Nigeria’s solid minerals sector also needs a holding company similar to NNPC Ltd. 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.”
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 N200 billion and net assets of more than $59 billion.
NEITI is confident that the PIA 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.