By Edith Ike-Eboh and Emmanuel Afonne
The activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) for the new week started with a cheering news that the company would begin operation on July 1 as a limited liability company.
The operation as a limited liability company is under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and would commence upon the signing of the assets transfer documents by the Ministers of Petroleum and Finance the same day.
The development is in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Group Managing Director (GMD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said at an engagement session with business leaders across the company’s value chain in Abuja that they were working to comply with the provisions of the PIA.
He said NNPC is doing everything possible to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with regards to guidelines and timelines for action.
Kyari said that the new company would become operational with the transfer of verified assets from the Corporation to the NNPC Ltd. by the Ministers of Petroleum and Finance.
He explained that with the level of assets available combined with the new fiscal regime, NNPC Ltd. was set to become the number one energy company in Africa, noting that global brands interested in doing business with the new NNPC Ltd. needed to be sure of the company’s asset base.
On the objective of the session, Kyari stated that it was organised to engage business leaders on issues of change management strategies required to achieve the new business realities as a limited liability entity.
He added that the success or otherwise of the company depends heavily on how the change is managed.
In his presentation, the Chairman of the NNPC PIA Implementation Team and Group Executive Director, Downstream, Mr Yemi Adetunji, said that all was set for the presidential unveiling of the NNPC Ltd., scheduled for July 19.
In the meantime, the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of NNPC Ltd. has donated state-of-the-art health centres to two of its host communities in Delta State.
This is in line with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy of improving the quality of life of members of its host communities.
The two beneficiary communities, Umu-Eziogoli and Umuseti-Ogbe, in Ukwuani and Ndokwa West Local Government Areas are along the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project.
Speaking at the inauguration of the health centres, the Managing Director of NGC, Mr Seyi Omotowa, who was represented by the Executive Director, Services, Mrs Uche Ossai, said the company viewed its host communities as partners.
In his remarks, the Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah, represented by Mrs Gladys Priegere, commended NGC for its commitment to the well-being of its host communities through the provision of social and health facilities.
In their goodwill messages, the Chairmen of Ukwuani and Ndokwa West Local Government Areas, who were represented by Mr Okpor Ellais and Hon. Augustine Okom respectively, applauded NGC for contributing its quota to the development of the communities.
They pledged to work in synergy with the State Primary Healthcare Board to ensure that both facilities were put to good use and well maintained.
The traditional rulers of both communities, the Okpala-Ukwu of Umu-Eziogoli, Ossai Uku Okuya, and the Okpala-Ukwu of Umuseti-Ogbe, Sunday Eboh Ogwe, in their separate remarks, appreciated NGC for bringing development to their communities and promised to ensure that members of their communities derive maximum benefit from the facilities.
Also in the week, the NNPC Ltd. called on labour unions in the oil and gas sector to rethink their priorities and engagement model in the light of the PIA and the changes it had brought about in the sector.
The call was made at the 5th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), NNPC Corporate Headquarters Branch, Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the GMD of the NNPC Ltd., Malam Mele Kyari, who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, Hajiya Aisha Katagum, urged NUPENG to continue to work with the NNPC Management to consolidate on the gains already achieved so far to ensure a successful transition.
On her own part, the GED, CS, applauded members of the union for their resilience, peaceful conduct and cooperation with the management during the COVID-19 pandemic and helping the company to weather the business storm that adversely affected many organisations globally.
Also speaking at the conference, the National President of NUPENG, Mr Williams Akporeha, commended the management of NNPC Ltd. under Kyari’s leadership for promptly attending to the union whenever the need arises.
Highpoint of the conference was the election of a new Branch Executive Council (BEC) in which Mr Essienette Basseye emerged as the Chairman.
Other members of the new BEC include: Mr Ajibade Oluwaseun who emerged as Vice Chairman, while Mr Mohammed Zakari Ya’u was elected as Secretary.
Positions of Treasurer, Trustee, Financial Secretary, Auditor, Public Relations Officer, and Welfare Officer were also contested and won.
The National President NUPENG, Akporehe, called on the newly elected officers to always have the interest of members of the union at heart and work towards strengthening the cordial relationship between the union and management.
In his remarks, the newly elected Chairman, Basseye, promised to consolidate on the gains achieved by his predecessor in fostering good industrial relations.
Awards were given to various staff of the NNPC Ltd. in recognition of their support for the union.
In the meantime, Libya, a fellow OPEC member country and one of the top oil producers in Africa, called on Nigeria for support to forge a common front on how to react to the move to migrate from dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy,
The migration from fossil fuels to renewable energy had posed a threat to oil rich nations.
Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohamed Aoun, made the call during a visit to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva at the NNPC Towers.
Aoun noted that there was pressure from all sides by the developed nations to force African nations into the energy transition race in order for them to abandon their abundant energy resources.
“I think definitely there are a lot of areas for cooperation between us because we are some of the countries that have high levels of production.
“With the expertise we have developed over the years, we believe that there is a lot of room for cooperation especially now that the whole world is going into this so-called energy transition.
“They may put us in a difficult situation. They are rushing us into the energy transition while we still have a lot of resources in oil and gas.
“Even the manufacturing equipment that is related to the oil sector may become difficult to obtain. That is also another way to put pressure on us.
“We need a lot of cooperation and unity in the continent to have one voice in this regard.”
Responding, Sylva said Nigeria was already in the forefront of the advocacy not to hurry African nations into energy transition and was in total support of the move to rally African nations to have a common position on the issue.
“I agree with you completely on this issue of energy transition. We have to do it on our own, not what is imposed on us.
“We have a lot of this crude in the ground and even gas, but at the same time we don’t have energy sufficiency, a lot of our people are living without energy.
“They cannot just crowd us out of this sector and move us to the next level. We cannot move at the same pace with the rest of the world. I think we have made this sufficiently clear and they have heard us loud and clear.
“But for me, what is left is to take our destiny into our hands, now it behoves us as Africans to ensure that we have our own source of funding.
“We should also get to the point where we are not dependent on their equipment and equipment suppliers.”
He assured that other oil producing countries in the continent were on the same page and called for more regular meetings under the aegis of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) to work out a strategy to tackle the challenges.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NNPC Ltd., Sen. Margery Chuba-Okadigbo called for the participation of more women in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Chuba-Okadigbo made the call at the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) Diversity Working Group’s Conference in Lagos.
She appealed to the NCDMB leadership to consider replicating its flagship capacity building programmes, Project-100 Module, for the empowerment of Nigerian women in oil and gas industry.
Project 100 is an initiative of the NCDMB in conjunction with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources that seeks to identify and nurture 100 wholly indigenous oil and gas companies to the next level.
This is by enhancing their capacities, supporting them financially through the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund and helping them to find opportunities in the industry, in collaboration with the NNPC.
According to Chuba-Okadigbo, it is imperative to encourage the participation and involvement of women in the oil and gas sector as it is one of the most challenging for women professionals to thrive even though it is a significant contributor to the Nigerian economy.
“I am appealing to the NCDMB leadership to consider a replication of the NCDMB Project 100 Module for women in oil and gas business. We believe this will further help to encourage more women participation in the industry.”
The NNPC board chairperson said there was no better time to promote the conversation around empowering women in oil and gas than now, especially with the passage of the PIA, and with President Muhammadu Buhari graciously appointing women including herself into strategic board positions and executive management positions.
She listed the various barriers to the advancement of women not only in the business world and expressed optimism that the outcome of the conference would lead to significant improvement in the opportunities available to women in the oil and gas industry.
“With these opportunities created from the passage of the PIA and with the sterling support from the public and private sector of the oil and gas industry also partnering with various women groups across the country, I believe it would garner more support for women in the industry.”
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr Mohammad Barkindo, said that the organisation remains committed to its core values since inception in spite of the challenges in the oil industry.
Barkindo stated this in his keynote address at the Mediterranean Gas (MedGas) event Dinner, at Athens, Greece.
The OPEC helmsman said that over the last six years, the oil industry and OPEC had been faced with a range of challenges, complex and confounding in equal measure.
“Yet, we never wavered from the core values at the heart of OPEC, respect among nations, cooperation, dialogue, and working towards collective solutions.
“I have no doubt that these values can carry us forward to a brighter tomorrow.
“In a few weeks from now, I will complete my assignment as OPEC secretary-general, which began six years ago, on Aug. 1, 2016.
“The pace of change in world events over that time has been staggering. These changes have had major ramifications for the energy industry.”
Speaking on the dislocation that the COVID-19 pandemic caused to the global supply chain system, Barkindo recalled that there was a lot of discussion on nearshoring, onshoring and reshoring, as well as on the impact of rising interest rates and an end to the era of cheap borrowing.
He added that nothing had changed that would be more than the war in Ukraine and the subsequent geo-political fallout, adding that investment patterns that dominated the last three decades were also being put to the test.
The OPEC secretary-general listed the patterns as the idea of corporations opting for cheap offshore manufacturing, slick global supply chains holding costs down and keeping inflation levels low.
“The question now is whether the momentum behind globalisation is shifting toward local sourcing.
“Attention in public discourse has gravitated toward issues such as so-called ‘supply chain sovereignty’ and domestic production facilities.
“The deployment of sanctions and attempts to sever some countries from the global economic system has seen fractures in geopolitics spill into the economic sphere.
“And we should not be under any illusion that the attempt to ‘decouple’ economies or reverse globalisation is a product of the 2020s.”
Visit us on www.nannews.ng for more details. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz