It was a busy week for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) as the Group Managing Director (GMD) Malam Mele Kyari, addressed the 17th All Nigerian Editors’ Conference in Abuja, as Special Guest of Honour.
The conference was an opportunity for the NNPC to spread the message of energy transition and its benefit to the country especially as it concerns insecurity.
As the trend of energy transition to less carbon-intensive energy sources gains ground across the globe, Kyari called for the consideration of what he described as “energy justice” in its implementation.
In an address entitled, “Insecurity as It Affects the Oil and Gas Sector” at the opening ceremony of the conference, Kyari argued that wholesale execution of energy transition without regard to the peculiar socio-economic conditions of various countries would cause dislocations that could exacerbate security challenges in developing nations.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Media in Times of Crisis: Resolving Conflicts, Achieving Consensus,” the NNPC CEO clarified that his concept of energy justice was to allow each country, especially developing nations, to progress at their own pace while leveraging on their hydrocarbon resources for smooth transition to Net Zero by 2050.
“Talking about energy transition, it is my well-considered view that there must be energy justice, which means that countries should develop at their own pace while taking into consideration the realities that they face.
“Individual nations should be allowed to transit on the basis of their contributions to the carbon emission to the point that ultimately, there will be justice for all by 2050.
“Energy justice will ensure that as we transit, we are allowed to develop in the pace and manner that is just,” Kyari said.
He urged the media industry and other stakeholders to champion the cause of energy justice in the global quest for cleaner energy, stressing that gas development remained the only option for Nigeria to achieve energy transition, without which the country could degenerate into poverty and insecurity.
He said the NNPC Management under his leadership will change the narrative by optimising the free-hand given by President Muhammadu Buhari to revamp the refineries.
“This is the first time in history that NNPC and its subsidiaries are allowed to do things the way things should be done.
“Now, I can confirm to you that we have taken responsibility and we will fix the refineries.
“We have started the process, contractors have been mobilised to the Port Harcourt refinery and they will do so both for Warri and Kaduna before the end of this year,” he added.
On the menace of crude oil and products theft, Kyari said much progress has been made through the collaboration with the military and security agencies.
He added that the support of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and other stakeholders was needed to reduce such incidents to 0.5 per cent which is the limit allowed in the industry.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of NGE, Mr Mustapha Isah, said that the purpose of the conference was to find solution to the various security challenges facing the country.
He called on all stakeholders to rise up and give their best in defense of the nation.Video Player00:0002:55
Also in the week, the NNPC pledged to sustain its ongoing collaboration with indigenous vessel owners in the country to meet all technical and commercial specifications that would enable them participate in the freighting of crude oil and petroleum products.
NNPC GMD, Kyari, stated this on Thursday at the investigative hearing by the House of Representative Committee on Local Content Development and Monitoring on alleged breach of the Nigerian Content and Cabotage Laws.
The GMD said that with the right collaboration, the indigenous ship owners would build capacities and earn the right to benefit from the vast opportunities in the business of lifting petroleum products.
He noted that it was the dearth of the right capacity and collaborations that resulted in the use of foreign vessels.
Kyari also stressed that in the new dispensation under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), NNPC Limited would only engage companies that were most compliant in terms of efficiency and cost.
The Chairman of the Committee on Local Content, Rep. Legor Idagbo, commended the NNPC for providing clarification on the subject and called on local ship owners to work closely with NNPC in this regard.Video Player00:0002:07
Still in the week under review, the Federal Government inaugurated the new regulatory agencies for the petroleum industry as prescribed by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.
The agencies are the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre sylva said the take-off of the newly enacted PIA indicated that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) have ceased to exist officially.
“Consequently, their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are relieved of their appointments,” he said.
DPR had prior to the passage of the PIA been responsible for the monitoring and regulation of the petroleum industry, whilst PPPRA oversaw the monitoring and regulation of petroleum products pricing in the country.
On the other hand, the PEF was responsible for the equitable pricing and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
The Minister said the passage of the PIA meant the NPRA and NURC had taken over the functions of the DPR, PPPRA and PEF under the new dispensation in the petroleum industry.
“The process for aligning the workers of the defunct agencies with the new regulatory bodies and their functions under the PIA regime had already commenced with the staff rationalisation exercise,” he added.
With the passage of the PIA into law and its assent by the President following the approval by the National Assembly after over 20 years of legislative process, the Minister said the Nigerian oil industry is now fully ready for fresh investors.
He said the CEOs of the various agencies were competent professionals carefully selected to handle the business of the industry to achieve the aspirations of all Nigerians.
The CEOs of the agencies are Gbenga Komolafe, for NURC and Farouk Ahmed for NMDPRA.
The Chief Executive, NURC, Komolafe, said the Commission would deliver on its mandate as captured in the new petroleum Act, assuring that the PIA has ended the regime of uncertainty in terms of governance of the industry.
He further said that Nigerians should expect massive deliverables henceforth.
Komolafe said that the Commission would ensure the country achieves its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota in crude oil production, as the NURC was poised to herald and enable new investments.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has assured that no staff of the scrapped agencies would be sacked.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva disclosed this during meetings with employees of the affected organisations in Abuja.
Sylva, who announced that he had stepped down as the chairman, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, supervised the handing over ceremonies at the agencies.
In a bid to calm the fears and concerns of workers of the defunct organisations, Sylva went to the agencies and assured them that the Federal Government had no plan to sack workers.
He made it clear that the political leaderships of the defunct agencies would have to give way for the newly appointed chief executives of the successor agencies.
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