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House Committee Assures NNPC of Support, Speedy Passage of PIB

-By Saidu Abubakar

In what seems more like a harmonious working relationship between the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and the nation’s Apex oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the former poured encomiums on the latter, a development that indicates brighter prospects for the industry.

Acknowledging the Corporation’s efforts at deepening transparency and accountability during an oversight visit to the Group Managing Director of the Corporation Mallam Mele Kyari in his office recently, chairman of the committee, Hon. Musa Sarki Adar stressed that with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NNPC management and the leadership role played by the GMD in rallying the oil and gas industry to provide support for the Federal government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the readiness of his committee to provide the necessary support for the Corporation to discharge its duties without hindrance ass unshakeable.

Mallam Mele Kyari

According to a release issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, had earlier said that the absence of a stable fiscal environment is inhibiting the growth of the Nigerian petroleum industry, especially the upstream sector.

Mallam Kyari lamented that international investors were losing confidence in the nation’s oil and gas industry, urging the lawmakers to act fast and arrest the situation.

“We need to act quickly to move from this unstable situation to a very stable one and the only way is for us to get the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to work so that countries and investors can work with us,” the GMD stated further.

He said foreign capital was needed in the upstream sector and that the only way to attract it was to have stable laws and a friendly business environment that could guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors.

He disclosed that the uncertainty in the sector created by the long delay in the passage of the PIB has led to a number of divestments from the country in the recent past.

Engr Mansur Sambo

The GMD also stated that the drive by the management of NNPC to entrench the culture of transparency in the Corporation has improved its business fortunes and creditworthiness as lenders are now willing to grant credit to it.

In a presentation, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Engr. Mansur Sambo, said the company has increased its gas production to 860mmscf/d and is now the largest supplier of gas to the domestic market. During the visit, the House committee was taken through a presentation by all the business units in the Upstream arm of the NNPC.