The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to raise funds from international investors and the private sector in 2016 to fund the Joint Venture cash calls between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and International Oil Companies operating in the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu made this disclosure during an interactive session with Nigerians living in Vienna, Austria.
Dr. Kachikwu said already high level discussions are underway with local and international investors to bridge the perennial JV cash call funding gap. He noted that the initiative is geared towards rebottling the Federal Government from bearing the burden of funding capital intensive projects in the upstream sector of the Oil and Gas Industry.
The Minister of State further stated that in the years ahead, the NNPC over 5000 kilometers of pipelines across the length and breadth of the country would be privatized in order to enhance efficient management of the infrastructure and to bring to the barest minimum the high incidence of pipeline vandalism currently plaguing the Petroleum Sector.
According to him, in the next 24 months, Nigerians would see a positive dramatic turn in the refinery model in the country stressing that going forward the new refinery model that would be introduced would not only meet the petroleum products need of the country but that of the West African sub region.
“The new model is that refineries would now buy their own crude oil, refine it and make remittances to the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). They would operate a semi autonomy system that would enable them to run in a profitable manner,” Dr. Kachikwu affirmed.
It would be recalled that Dr. Kachikwu gave the refineries a 90 day fast track ultimatum that would lapse by December, 2015. He noted that from available reports before me, two of the refineries are likely to meet the deadline.
He informed that the NNPC operations are now being transparently and efficiently handled while adding that the Corporation now publishes its monthly account, a move which he said has inspired a lot of confidence among investors and improve the perception index of the Corporation in a positive light in the eyes of the global community.
Dr. Kachikwu disclosed that a ‘Clean Nigeria after Oil Initiative’ would be introduced in 2016. He said the initiative would set in place a process where all the IOCs operating in Nigeria would adopt global best environmental practices that would guarantee the sustenance of the flora and fauna of communities where they operate even after they are long gone from the country.
“I will engage the IOCs to stand up and get counted in the area of best environmental practices in 2016. This initiative would help the IOCs to maintain a cordial relationship with the communities where they operate and the communities too would be satisfied with the efforts at the end of the day,” Dr. Kachikwu noted.