Tayo Busayo


DAILY COURIER – President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, saying the transformation was to boost its competitiveness in a fluid market.

Buhari said, “the landmark places a high premium on creating the right atmosphere that supports investment and growth to boost our economy and continue to play an important role in sustaining global energy requirements.”

“We are transforming our petroleum industry, to strengthen its capacity and market relevance for the present and future global energy priorities,” Buhari announced.

Buhari, who recalled that he was privileged to lead the creation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in July 1977, said that 44 years later, he was again opportune to sign the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021.

The president explained that the provisions of PIA 2021 have given the petroleum industry a new impetus, fiscal framework, transparent governance, enhanced regulation and a commercially-driven independent national oil company.

He said: “NNPC Limited will .. deliver value to its over 200 million shareholders and the global energy community, while adhering to its fundamental corporate values of integrity, excellence and sustainability.

He expressed gratitude to the leadership and members of the National Assembly for demonstrating uncommon courage and patriotism in the passage of the bill that became the PIA and the birth of NNPC Limited.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva said that the company would demonstrate a higher level of performance and accountability.

He recalled that Buhari never concealed his desire to create a more conducive environment for the growth of the oil and gas sector.

Sylva said while the country was waiting for the PIA, Nigeria’s oil and gas industry lost about $50 billion worth of investments.

He added that between 2015 and 2019, KPMG said “only four per cent of the $70 billion investment inflows into Africa’s oil and gas industry came to Nigeria even though the country is the continent’s biggest producer with the largest reserves.

“We are setting all these woes behind us, and a clear path for the survival and growth of our petroleum industry is now before us. With the PIA assuring international and local oil companies of adequate protection for their investments, the nation’s petroleum industry is no longer rudderless.

“The PIA avails us the golden opportunity to strengthen our institutions, improve our regulatory and fiscal frameworks and attract the much-needed investments,” the minister said.

Sylva noted that some of the opportunities presented by the reforms are coming at a time when global energy conversation is moving towards gas as a cleaner energy fuel.