Image

I Did Not Approve NNPC Contracts But Loans, Says Osinbajo |Th Republican News

yemiosinbajo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

• Kachikwu: Issues raised in memo were not on fraud but governance

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo Thursday broke his silence on the notion that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the financing loans for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) when the president was receiving treatment in the United Kingdom and had handed over power to him as acting president, stating that he (Osinbajo) indeed gave approval to the joint venture financing loans in accordance with laid down procedure, but he did not approve contracts.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had in a memo to Buhari, accused the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, of awarding contracts to the tune of $25 billion and making senior executive appointments in the corporation without due process and recourse to the board of NNPC which Kachikwu chairs.
However, in its response to the memo, NNPC had said all contract awards had followed due process and were approved by Buhari.
In its response, which was sanctioned by the president, NNPC went further to list contracts and joint venture financing loans approved by Buhari and provided the dates of approval.
But the dates provided in the response by NNPC on when the so-called contracts/joint venture loans were approved raised a red flag when it was pointed out by online new medium Premium Times that they coincided with the absence of Buhari who was away in the UK on health grounds and had constitutionally handed over to his deputy, Osinbajo.
When the red flag was raised, NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, rushed to clarify that the said financing loans approved for Shell and Chevron under the joint venture contracts at $1billion and $780 million respectively, were approved by Osinbajo in his capacity as acting president.
However, Osinbajo’s office initially kept mum on the controversy until Thursday when the vice-president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, stated that Osinbajo approved the loans “after due diligence” had been complied with and in accordance with laid down rules and regulations.
Akande, in a series of tweets on his Twitter, handle @Akandeoj, said the approval Osinbajo gave was necessary as a measure to address the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls in NNPC.
According to the tweets, the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls was inherited by the current administration and the approval was meant to stimulate the required investments in oil and gas sector.
“In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo as Ag. President approved recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedure.
“Action was necessary to deal with a huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the Buhari administration inherited and also incentivise much needed fresh investments in oil and gas sector,” Akande tweeted.
Also, yet another statement from Akande last night, added: “Our attention has been drawn to some misleading reports suggesting that the vice-president approved certain procurement contracts for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“This is totally false, as the approvals referred to were actually for financing arrangements in replacement of the traditional joint venture cash call obligations.
“In the statement of NNPC recently released in response to allegations made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, reference was made to various financing arrangements with NNPC’s joint venture partners, which were approved by the presidency under the current administration.
“There were three such loan financing arrangements made for: (i) NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture Project; (ii) NNPC/Chevron Accelerated Upstream Production Project; (iii) NNPC/Shell/Total/Agip Joint Venture Accelerated Upstream Production Project.
“While the first was approved by the president in person, the second and third were approved by the vice-president as acting president.
“The NNPC Act, Cap. N. 123, Laws of the Federation, (updated to 2010), authorises the corporation to borrow such sums as it may require in the exercise of its functions.
“Subsection (2) goes further to specify the only precondition: ‘The Corporation shall not, without the approval of the President, borrow any sum of money whereby the amount in aggregate outstanding on any loan or loans at any time exceeds such amounts as is for the time being specified by the President.’
“Furthermore, subsection (4) provides that ‘Where any sum required aforesaid – a. is to be in a currency other than Naira; and b. is to be borrowed by the Corporation otherwise than temporarily, the Corporation shall not borrow the sum without the prior approval of the President’.
“These financings are purely commercial loans obtained by NNPC and its joint venture partners, mainly from local and foreign banks, to perform their exploration and production activities.
“Repayments are also made out of revenues from the crude oil produced directly by the funded project. Unfortunately, they are being confused with contracts for goods and services.
“The alternative financing arrangements became necessary as the inability of the government to meet its cash call obligations had stalled further investments in the petroleum sector and reduced the country’s production capacity.”
Also, while answering questions from reporters after the ground-breaking of the multi-billion naira Bonny-Bodo road project in Bonny, Rivers State Thursday, the vice-president went into the semantics of the loans he approved by differentiating them from contracts, when he explained that the approvals he granted to the NNPC while he was acting president were for financing arrangements for the joint ventures between the corporation and international oil companies (IOCs), and not approvals for contracts.
He said: “These were financing loans. Of course, you know what the joint ventures are, with the lOCs like Chevron that has to procure.
“In some cases, NNPC and their joint venture partners have to secure loans and they needed the authorization to secure those loans while the president was away.
“The law actually provides for those authorizations. So I did grant two of them and those were presidential approvals, but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are loans, not contracts.”
Meanwhile, Kachikwu, who started the entire storm that has snowballed into who between the president and his deputy actually approved the loans for NNPC, has stated that his memo to Buhari did not border on fraud but on governance and on the best ways to move the oil and gas sector forward in the country.
He also expressed deep confidence in the president as a thorough, clean and meticulous leader whose interest is to better a lot of Nigerians.
Kachikwu, who stated this in Owerri, the Imo State capital while speaking on the third day of Nigerian content workshop organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), decried the misrepresentation by some Nigerians on the issues raised in his memo, stressing that no one was accused of committing fraud in the NNPC contract awards.
“The conversation has been largely misunderstood to border on fraud. It was not on fraud, but on governance and suggested ways to go about it. I think a lot of people got it wrong.
“People dwell much on issues of sensationalism and leave the main substance. I think I and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru are working together as Mr President has directed that we move forward,” he said.
According to the minister, “Mr President has urged the two of us to find ways of working together to remove doubt and rift. Mr President is a decent man and what he wants to achieve in this country is to leave a legacy for posterity.
“He is a sincere leader, so nobody should accuse him of engaging in fraud.”
He commended the management of NCDMB headed by its executive secretary, Mr Simbi Wakote, for promoting and enforcing Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector.
“NCDMB is blessed in terms of the quality of personnel in that parastatal. They have done well in ensuring that things move well in his area. Simbi has made the institution stronger and I congratulate you and your folks,” he said.
Kachikwu, however, observed that not much local content had been engaged in offshore oil and gas operations and enjoined the NCDMB to move in that direction.
He announced that by next year, the facilities in Port Harcourt and Kaduna would be available to train unskilled Nigerians to acquire skills in the oil and gas sector, adding that the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) and the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) would be responsible for the programme. (Thisday)

The Republican News
http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Ibe Kachikwu, Niger Delta And The Scions Of Usman Dan Fodio, By Charles Ogbu |RN

Kachikwu-Baru

By Charles Ogbu.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating now, President Muhammadu Buhari is an incurable ethnoreligious Jingoist and a Fulani supremacist with a feudal mindset. As far as he’s concerned, the North, specifically the Fulanis, owns Nigeria with the whole South as a conquered territory.

When a Fulani Muslim or any Northerner is involved in corruption, Buhari views that the exact way a man views the action of a son who takes his father’s money which is his by the right as the son of the father. But when a southerner is suspected of corruption, Buhari sees that with the anger a slave master feels when a mere slave steals from him.

Examples abound:

Till today, Buhari has continued to swear that Abacha did not steal. Dasuki is not in prison for any 2billion dollars arms fund. He’s in jail for his role in booting the Daura born ex-soldier (Buhari) out of office in 1985. In Olisah Metuh’s trial, he was handcuffed and his request to go treat a spinal cord problem abroad denied even when former Kano state governor, Attahiru Baffarawa, facing the same charge, was allowed to go pray in Mecca for one whole month.

The case of Ibe Kachikwu is a further testament to the criminal disdain which the Sons of Danfodio hold for all Southerners.

Make no mistake, Ibe Kachikwu’s humiliation in the hands of the Feudalists IS NOT an isolated case. If you think it is, then you are mistaken.

As I type this, vice President Yemi Osinbajo is going through worse indignity at the hands of Abba Kyari and co. Most of the things he says like when he described those asking for Restructuring as hungry people looking for appointment etc, were not his thought. Ngige, Ogbonnaya Onu and every Southern minister in Buhari government is passing through one humiliation or the other in the hands of Arewa men who ordinarily are not qualified to hold their bag.

They were all given an unwritten option which is to either be in office as obedient slaves creating the impression that there is a regional balance in the appointment and be collecting salaries with the attendant humiliation or resign. And because they are all integrity-challenged men with no principle, they accepted the former.

The only reason Kachikwu is still in office is just to keep maintaining the lie that Niger Delta is represented in Buhari’s government so the Creek boys will keep being deceived.

The day Buhari took the AK47 assault rifle from Kachikwu (NNPC Director) and handed him a catapult without even a stone (junior Petroleum minister) was the day he should have resigned if he had any honour in him.

Buhari is the Petroleum minister. Baru is the NNPC boss. As I type this, a mega power project has been launched in Kaduna for the Northern region. Rail-lines connecting the North to the even Niger Republic are in progress. Northeast Development Commission is heavily funded. VAT, which is sourced mainly from Alcohol, has a special % going to the North even when alcohol is banned in the Sharia North. Last week, there was a report in the Guardian that NNPC compels firms to pay a monthly sum of 100million to fund Northern projects.

Meanwhile, in the Niger Delta region, Ibe Kachikwu’s region, the main region producing the oil, what you will be greeted with is an environment unfit for even non-living things. No good water for fishing or drinking, no clean air to breathe, no land to farm on, no nothing!

All because of oil exploration in the region.

Nature blessed you with oil. But all you have to show for it are pains, miseries and death while those who do not have even a litter of “condemned” oil in their land are the ones owning all the oil wells in your own backyard and using them to develop their place and still treating your sons and daughters like subhumans.

An Ibrahim from Sokoto can own oil blocks in the Niger Delta and make billions without doing any work but if a Tompolo from Niger Delta gets a contract to secure oil pipeline in the same Niger Delta, he will be hunted like a common thief and his father brutalized, leading to his death.

Yet, we are all busy chasing shadows.

How far about Ogoni Clean-up, the same Ogoni struggle for which Ken Saro Wiwa and others were hanged?? After deceiving the people with noise about cleaning up Ogoni, the Oligarchs simply turned to their own region.

If the Niger Delta youths do not force the Caliphate to clean up their region now and develop it with the same zeal with which Lagos and Abuja were developed, is it when oil loses its value that they will do it??

In no distant time, even if the oil hasn’t dried up then, it will no longer be the beautiful bride it is today, considering that most countries are turning to the alternative source of energy far removed from the oil. When that time comes, you can be sure the Core North will have finished developing her region. The question is, what will be the condition of the Niger Delta region then?? We can all guess correctly, can’t we?

Those of you sitting quietly and waiting for Nigeria to be restructured so you can all take control of your resources, you are on a very long thing. The North WILL NEVER allow for any genuine Restructuring without a well-coordinated RADICAL push from the South. And you can NEVER get Restructuring through the existing constitutional framework. Even if you borrow lawmakers from 2 or 3 states in the North and add to the entire federal lawmakers from the South, you will not get up to the 2/3 required to change the atrocious apartheid manual masquerading as the 1999 constitution.

So I ask, how does the Restructuring group intend to get it?

Those of you who think Buhari’s unsettled but unsettling grudges and unmitigated hatred is for the Igbos alone, you are grievously mistaken. Down South, we are all Dwarfs in the eye of the “Giant” Fulani supremacists even when “Height Enhancer” is ours by right. Ndigbo are not even the shortest of the Dwarfs.

Any southern tribe boasting of having a better deal in Nigeria than the other is as criminally moronic as a Dwarf boasting of being taller than a fellow Dwarf instead of striving to be the Giant which he’s created to be.

Shame isn’t it??

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Nigerian Senate Probe 40 Oil Firms As Kachikwu, Baru Crisis Deepens |RN

 

Kachikwu-and-Baru

Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe E. Kachikwu and NNPC General Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru

Over 40 oil firms are expected to be invited by the Senate adhoc committee set up to investigate the allegations in the feud between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru.
Kachikwu in a leaked memo to President Muhammadu Buhari had alleged that against the rules, Baru awarded major contracts worth $25bn without reviewing or discussing them with him or the NNPC board.
“The legal and procedural requirements are that all contracts above $20m would need to be reviewed and approved by the board of NNPC. Mr. President, in over one year of Mr Baru’s tenure, no contract has been run through the board.
‘‘As in many cases of things that happen in NNPC these days, I learn of transactions only through publications in the media,’’ Kachikwu wrote.
One of our correspondents gathered that the Senate, which had earlier stated that it would probe the allegations, decided to invite over 40 companies which received the following contracts: Crude Term contracts — valued over $10bn; the Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum Product (DSDP contract) valued over $5bn; the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline contract valued at $3bn; allocation of funding contracts of national oil companies valued over $3bn and NPDC production service contracts valued between $3bn and $4bn.
Two senators who did not want their names in print confirmed this to one of our correspondents.
Associates of both men within the government appeared to be reluctant to speak on record because of Buharis’s intervention in the raging feud.

 

One of them who is a director in the NNPC, while speaking to SUNDAY PUNCH, alleged that Baru had been warned several times against sidelining the apex body of the corporation.
According to him, in one of such instances, Baru was accused of making appointments into the NNPC without the approval of the board.
The director said during the 124th session of the NNPC Board meeting, Baru was allegedly criticised for appointing the Managing Director of NNPC Retail without informing the board. Members of the board complained that they learnt of the appointment in the media.
He said, “Kachikwu, pleaded with the board that the appointment of the MD of NNPC Retail Limited without recourse to the board should be treated as part of a learning curve and stated that going forward, management should present to the board a number of candidates that should be considered for such appointments for board evaluation before making appointments.”
The director also claimed that Baru was criticised at a separate meeting for attempting to submit the budget of the NNPC directly to Buhari without the input of Kachikwu or the board. He also re-echoed the complaints in Kachikwu’s leaked memo that Baru had been approving contracts through the NNPC Tenders Board and taking documents directly to Buhari under the pretext that Buhari is the substantive minister of petroleum.
The NNPC director further told one of our correspondents that NNPC and Schlumberger in June signed a tripartite agreement for the development of the Anyala and Madu fields under oil mining leases OMLs 83 and 85, offshore Bayelsa State worth over $700m.
He said it was not until Schlumberger released a statement to the media that the board heard about the contract
According to him, following Baru’s alleged circumvention of the board in the award of contracts, the Finance and General Purpose Committee of the NNPC board and the NNPC management sought legal opinion from external experts.
“Since the National Council on Public Procurement had not been appointed by the President, the Bureau of Public Procurement’s manual regarding the composition of the NNPC Tenders Board is merely advisory and not law.”
“In essence, the NNPC board, as the apex authority, with its fiduciary relationship with the corporation and the onerous liability exposure that it has, is not prohibited from approving contracts by the Public Procurement Act,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources close to the NNPC GMD told SUNDAY PUNCH that the Act establishing the NNPC stipulates that the chairman of the corporation’s board is the Minister of Petroleum Resources and not the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
President Muhammadu Buhari is Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources while Kachikwu is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. However, Buhari had named Kachikwu the chairman of the NNPC board.
According to them, Baru did no wrong by reporting to the President on issues of the oil firm, as he was only obeying the NNPC Act.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source who is highly-placed in the corporation said, “The NNPC Act does not recognise a minister of state. The act is explicit that the petroleum minister is the chairman of the NNPC board.”
When asked if Buhari was not aware of the NNPC Act before announcing a chairman for the corporation’s board, the source replied, “These were some of the issues raised at the meetings the President is holding.
“The NNPC GMD reports to the corporation board chairman, who of course, is the President. He (Baru) goes to the chairman because that is what the Act says.” (Punch)

The Republican News
http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

How Kachikwu Has Been Sidelined By Aso Rock Cabal, He Writes To Buhari |RN

ibe-kachikwu1

By Ike A. Offor

It has been rumoured severally that Aso Rock Fulani cabal has been running the country without rules and the consent of President Buhari. They have broken every protocol and sidelined whoever they choose to in their desperation to run the presidency the manner they choose fit.

These rumours are sometimes waived off as mere rumours without substantive facts and so, disregarded. But the excerpts from a memo from the Minister of State Petroleum and chairman of NNPC board, Dr Ibe Kachiwkwu glaringly demonstrates a big insubordination by NNPC GMD Mr Baru.

Kachikwu who has been clearly sidelined by the Fulani cabal wrote a letter to President Buhari lamenting bitterly of disrespect shown to him as the Minister of State petroleum and chairman NNPC board, who was never consulted in appointments and approval of such positions.

Glaringly, NNPC general managing director, Mr Baru sidelined the office of minister of state petroleum and chairman NNPC board in the recent controversial reshuffling which took place in NNPC.

Mr Kachikwu clearly stated in his memo that as in the previous reorganisations and repostings did by Dr Baru that he and members of the NNPC board were not consulted and he was not given the due opportunity to give his approval to the process.

The excerpt from the memo from Ibe Kachikwu to Muhammadu Buhari is embedded in the blockquote below.

“I have been unable to secure an appointment to see you (GMB) despite very many attempts.

“Like the previous reorganizations and repostings done since Dr Baru resumed as GMD, I was never given the opportunity before the announcements to discuss these appointments. This is despite being the minister of state petroleum and chairman NNPC board…Members of the board learnt of these appointments from the pages of social media and press release of NNPC.

“It is in the spirit of service and absolute belief in your leadership and integrity that I have, after one year of tolerating these disrespectful and humiliating conducts by the GMD, decided to bring this to your attention.”…

“My prayers are that we save the NNPC and the oil industry from collapse arising from the above non-transparent practices and empower the board you inaugurated to do the needful. That you save the office of the Minister of State from further humiliation and disrespect by compelling all parastatals to submit oversight regulatory mandate and proper supervision which I am supposed to manage on your behalf. 

“That you kindly instruct the GMD to effectively leave the NNPC to run as a proper institution and report out along due process lines to the board and that all reviews be done with the Minister of State prior to your decision. That to set the right examples, you approve the recently announced reorganisation and changes are suspended until the GMD, I and the board have relevant input to same”,

Another clear thing in minister’s memo to the President is his inability to see Muhammadu Buhari despite several attempts to do so. This also has been rumoured by several media that few elements within the cabal in Aso Rock do not allow people (ministers, governors, and others) to see the president.

It is an affront that a minister of state petroleum, a person of such very important position find it very difficult if not impossible to see Mr President. His office is indeed very vital due to the position of oil as the main source of revenue for Nigeria. Mistakes made in this sector always echoes in the entire economy of Nigeria.

It is obvious from a common inference that Ibe Kachikwu was deliberately sidelined and prevented from seeing President Buhari to air his grievances to that effect. That is double jeopardy indeed and something very serious if you ask me.

In conclusion, the rumour of the powerful cabal in Aso Rock is no longer a rumour but a debilitating fact, which needs urgent scrutiny and attention. They cannot change Nigeria if they are entangled in petty internal politics, which may be complicated by tribal and workplace politics.

President Buhari if he still has strength and control, should find a solution to this urgently or this will lead to a serious issue for his government. A house against itself cannot succeed.

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Kachikwu Predicts Petrol Price Crash In 6 Months |The Republican News

 

 

ibe-kachikwu1

Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu

 

From Uche Usim, Abuja

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has given assurance that the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petroleum will crash from the current N145/litre within four to six months.

Kachikwu who made the prediction in a podcast message to mark his two years in office did not give the likely price the vital product would be sold.

According to him, the forecast springs from what he described as the competition inherent in the PMS price modulation.

The minister said the price of diesel, which is now 40 per cent lower than what hitherto obtained, amid surplus supply, was enough evidence that petrol prices will also crash.

He said: “once Nigerians throw their trading skill in it, once competition thrives, the prices will continue to tumble.

“My guess is that you will see the prices tumble in the next four, five to six months. The market will be more stable and definitely, the prices will be lower than what we see today.”

On the refining capability of the nation’s refineries, Kachikwu this was the first time the three refineries would be working simultaneously, although at 50 per cent of their capacity, in the last 10 years.

“We expect to put in investment to put them to 90 per cent capacity,” he said.

According to Kachikwu, this his tenure was also the first time the NNPC Group has recorded savings, which could be used to fix the refineries in collaboration with its Joint Venture partners.

The Minister further noted that this was the first time the government upgraded the nation’s depots, adding that out of 19, only three are grounded currently.  (The Sun)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Federal Government May Sell Warri, Kaduna Refineries |The Republican News

ibe-kachikwu1
         Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu

’Femi Asu

There are indications that the Federal Government will sell two of its three crude oil refineries that are found to have become commercially unviable as part of measures to boost the nation’s refining sector.

The two refineries likely to be sold, according to a report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation obtained by our correspondent on Friday, are the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company and the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company

The NNPC said last week that the consolidated capacity utilisation of the three government-owned refineries dropped to 23.09 per cent in May, from 24.59 per cent in April.

The third refinery being managed by the NNPC is the Port Harcourt Refining Company.

Although the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in the new National Petroleum Policy approved by the Federal Executive Council, said the government aimed to make the refineries successful and commercially viable enterprises, it stressed that government was ready to sell any of them that failed to meet respond promptly.

It said, “They will be encouraged to become so and will be supported as much as it is within the government’s ability to do so. Each refinery will be given a transition period in which to set themselves up on their own feet.

“Ultimately though, if a refinery fails to make the transition and become commercially viable, the petroleum policy is for the government to divest (sell off), grant a concession or if necessary, close down any non-performing government-owned refinery. In either instance, the site may be handed over to a suitably qualified private sector developer to build a new refinery facility on the same site.”

According to the policy document, of the three NNPC refineries, Port Harcourt is expected to be the best place to succeed.

It said, “It has installed its own independent gas-fired power supply; it has undertaken its own turnaround maintenance; it is close to jetties and the pipeline length from crude oil suppliers is short (less of a pipeline security risk), and it is operationally ready to produce refined products to international standards, although the cost structure is still not right.

“Of the three, Kaduna is perhaps the least ready currently because of its distance from crude oil supplies and reliance on a poorly maintained crude oil pipeline.”

The government described a strong refining sector as a basic requirement for the achievement of the vision of converting the nation’s economy from a crude oil export to an oil product and derivative value-added economy.

It said without strong, high volume and commercially viable refineries within the country, the whole vision would not be achievable.

The government noted that the refineries had been underperforming for many years, stressing the need for the refining sector to undergo fundamental reform so that it could play its central part in economic development.

According to the policy document, steps that the government will take to encourage the development of a viable refining sector in the country include making the NNPC refineries become autonomous profit centres and returning storage depot assets to the refineries.

It said under the restructuring of the NNPC, the refineries would be set up as independent profit centres with responsibility for their own commercial operations.

The government noted that the storage depots were originally part of the refineries but had been subsequently transferred from the refineries to Pipeline and Product Marketing Company.

It said, “This arrangement is not considered to have been successful. The PPMC has failed to manage the depots effectively and the refineries have been denied an important part of their assets. The storage depots will, therefore, be returned to the refineries.

“In addition, the perimeter fence around the refineries will be set sufficiently far from the operations including depots to ensure that proper security can be maintained. Everything inside the perimeter fence will belong to the refinery solely and will be on each refinery’s asset register.”

The government said as part of their new independence, each of the refineries would be given commercial autonomy, meaning that they would be free to take crude oil from wherever they could get it.   (Punchng.com)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

I’ll Resign If Fuel Importation Continues By 2019, Says Kachikwu

ibe-kachikwu1
                           Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu

Okechukwu Nnodim Abuja

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has vowed to resign if the country fails to attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019.

Kachikwu, who spoke as a guest on BBC Hard Talk in London on Monday, also stated that he recently signed an agreement with the international oil giant, Agip, for the firm to build a refinery in Nigeria.

When asked to state the year that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in refining petroleum products, Kachikwu replied, “I have said 2019, and that is the target that I gave.”

On whether he would leave office if he failed to achieve the target, the minister replied, “Yes, of course. That is the reason why you are in government.”

Kachikwu was also told by his interviewer that the industry was totally dysfunctional considering the fact that Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined products despite having refineries, but he stated that efforts were being made to revive obsolete facilities in the sector.

Kachikwu said, “Let me say this; yes it is wrong, we ought to process rather than ship out crude. But look at all the efforts I have made in the last few months, including working with investors to begin to reshape the refineries that were comatose for many years.

“The President is there for two years and those refineries were down before he came. Since coming, we’ve been able to get them back to produce seven million litres versus zero. That’s not the 90 per cent template. We’re now refurbishing the refineries and I’ve just signed an agreement with Agip to build a new refinery in Nigeria.”

He added, “I’ve delivered on everything I promised when I came into office. First, I took the NNPC and moved it into a profit-making organisation, which was the first time in history. I removed cash call deficit of over $6bn and we renegotiated it. Everything that I promised, I’ve delivered and I will deliver on the refineries; I’m committed to that.

“And I will also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for Nigeria. But bear in mind that one has been there for one and half years, while the President has been there for two years, so I can’t pretend that we are going to solve in one day all the problems that happened in Nigeria in the past.”

The minister stated that oil prices would not “hit the roof again” as was recorded in the past, adding that this had provided an opportunity for Nigeria to get serious.

Kachikwu also stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through its monetary policy, had been able to force a lot of citizens out of the consumption culture, a development he said had strengthened the naira considerably.

On the slump in crude oil production in Nigeria, the minister said the activities of militants in the Niger Delta led to the decline in crude output and denied claims that the Federal Government was buying off the restive youths in the region through the payment of huge sums to them.

He stated that over $40bn had been sunk in the Niger Delta in the last 10 years and that nothing tangible was on ground to show for it.   (Punchng.com)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Time To Handover Oil Assets To Private Sector, Says Kachikwu

ibe-kachikwu1

Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has said the time has come for the Nigerian government to relinquish its vast oil and gas assets to the private sector in order to bridge the huge $45 billion infrastructure deficit.
Kachikwu in his ministerial address at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, yesterday, said government hopes to attract about $10 billion investments to the petroleum sector in the next five years.
He said government decision to exit the Joint Venture Cash Call model for financing projects was a major step to allow the industry finance itself without placing a burden on the country.
While admitting that there were still governance issues in the sector, he stressed that government was on the right path to reform the sector.
He explained that the expected investments would address challenges facing the oil and gas industry, covering pipelines, refineries, gas and power, facility refurbishment and upstream financing.
According to him, “Time has come to bring down the cost of crude oil production and have the right incentives. Three years ago, we have cost issues, technological issues but not issues of where the money would come from because of crude price regime.
“Between 2015 to 2016, we took drastic measures on how to moderate prices, while between July 2016 and now, there have been lots of stability in the downstream economy. There are still some challenges but work is in progress”.
Kachikwu said the new cash call policy will free up government resources to fund other projects, noting that it will also ensure production stability for the oil and gas sector.
He assured the operators that the outstanding debt of $5.1 billion would be paid over five years through incremental oil production volumes.
“There are still some governance issues to be addressed but once this is resolved, there is expected to be an improvement in oil production.
“We are left with options of bringing in investors that will help address the over $45billion infrastructure deficit. The government wants to be bold enough to take steps that have not been taken before. We have to release our assets to private investors.
“Either gas pipeline, crude pipeline, the time has come to move from government ownership to private ownership for efficiency”, he said.
Kachikwu said that effort is ongoing in addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta region to boost oil production.
He said that government planned to grow oil production to three million barrels per day.
To achieve this, he said the government is targeting zero vandalism of oil and gas facilities by restive youths in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
“We have set a target of zero militancy for 2017 and it is achievable due to lots of community-based activities and motivation,’’ stressing that “We have to collaborate with the oil companies, state governments and see how we can capture some benefits that will come from this.
“We have been seeing the engagement of youths and we expect more improvement day by day. The states must make their mini-economy agenda and they will work with security agencies”, he added.      (Authority)

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: