The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed commitment to actualize the December 2019 target set by the federal government to end the importation of petroleum products into the country.
Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the Offshore Technology Conference 2018 Nigeria Oil Industry Award Dinner in Houston, Texas, the United States, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said measures had been taken to achieve the target.
He explained that in terms of refining and production of local petroleum products, the ongoing arrangement with the original builders of the refineries to return them to at least 90 percent capacity utilization before the 2019 deadline was still intact.
Baru noted that the long cherished dream of transforming Nigeria from a net exporter of crude oil to a net exporter of petroleum products would in the months ahead transform into a reality.
He stated that tendering exercises for companies interested in the rehabilitation programmes of the nation’s four refineries using a contractor-financing model had been completed and successful companies for the different projects would soon be announced.
“This model is expected to be a self-sustaining financial model with near zero reliance on the federal government funds. For smooth running and implementation, we are also changing the operating and commercial framework of the refineries to make them work efficiently and be commercially viable,’’ he said.
The NNPC GMD also stated that the corporation and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources were also collaborating to encourage the establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta area to encourage job creation.
He announced that, so far, about 35 expressions of interest for the establishment of modular refineries had been declared and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had issued licenses to 13 of them.
The highpoint of the event was the investiture of PETAN Award of exemplary leadership on Dr. Baru for his commitment to the growth of local companies in the petroleum industry.
Chairman of the association, Engr. Bank Anthony Okoroafor, described the NNPC GMD as a strong pillar in the actualization of the federal government’s Local Content dream.