Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director (GMD) Dr. Maikanti Baru has reaffirmed his commitment to consolidate the NNPC group, especially its trading arm for efficiency and profitability.
Since assuming duty, Dr. Baru has secured about $2 billion discounts in the last one year from renegotiated upstream contracts being executed by its various service providers as well as focus on utilizing local content in the execution of the Corporation’s contracts.
A top aide to the NNPC boss, who spoke to our correspondent, on Tuesday, said that despite the attempt by the minister of state, petroleum resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to cause distraction for Baru, the NNPC boss would continue to focus on delivering the mandate given to him by President Muhammad Buhari to reposition the petroleum sector.
The aide who spoke to our correspondent, on the condition of anonymity was particular about the effort of Dr. Baru in changing the fortunes of NNPC trading company, Duke Oil to a profitable venture, as well as other NNPC subsidiaries such as Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC); Integrated Data Services Limited; and NNPC Retail company.
“The whole idea of Dr. Baru is to empower all these NNPC subsidiaries. He is of the view that if all these companies are empowered, NNPC will be able to make enough money for the Federal Government to build infrastructure for Nigerians,” the aide said.
our correspondent’s investigations revealed that through the effort of of the management of Duke Oil, under the leadership of Dr. Baru, the company was able to secure the release of over $30 million trapped in a Swiss Bank PNB Paribas, following suspicion of unidentified transactions in the past.
It was gathered that the recovered money has since been deposited in Duke Oil’s account under the Treasury Single Account (TSA), withe the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Statistics of trading activities made available to our correspondent, on Tuesday, showed that NNPC trading company engaged substantial number of both local and foreign companies in its trading activities in order to widen its reach and diversify its operations.
An industry source that spoke to our correspondent, said unlike in the past where Duke Oil as the NNPC Trading company was excluded from lifting crude oil, the NNPC boss acting on the directives of President Buhari “has paid considerable attention to the activities of Duke Oil as the trading arm of the NNPC. The Buhari administration’s policy of change in the NNPC, has succeeded in repositioning of the esrtwhile moribund company to one of profitability, excellence and value addition. It has made a giant stride in the trading of crude oil, export and import of petroleum products, receiving substantial amount of liftings. The records are there for all to see ”
Reacting to the allegation that Duke Oil was solely lifting NNPC crude oil allocations, the source said the NNPC Trading company “is lifting just about 6.5 percent of national production. This figure is very negligible when compared to similar trading companies in other parts of the world”.
Citing the examples of Angola and Norway, the source said “Sonangol Limited, the Angolan Oil Trading Company lifts about 1.7 million barrels per day of national production while Norwegian Oil Trading Company, StatOil lifts about 2.1 million barrels per day representing 100 and 90 per cent respectively”.
The source stated further that irrespective of what anybody is saying ”Duke Oil has launched NNPC into international oil trading business by actively participating in the business using best industry practices. On daily basis, Duke Oil aspires to improve its participation in the international trading frontiers”.
Our correspondent’s investigations revealed that Duke Oil is supplying Pertamina (the Indonesian National Oil Company) under commercial arrangement, which helps improve the Nigeria/Indonesia bilateral relations while negotiation are ongoing for Duke Oil to supply Congo-Brazzaville with Nigerian crude under similar circumstances.
“The current administration of President Buhari has succeeded in reversing the gradual decline of the NNPC trading. The story of Duke Oil is one of success,” the industry source industry source said.