29 September 2015, Lagos – In what seems to be an answer to the prayers of local players in the oil and gas industry for the federal government to explore other means of funding its joint venture operations with the International Oil Companies (IOCs), the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the corporation had started to explore alternative funding models to finance its operations with the IOCs.
Kachikwu, told journalists in Lagos at the weekend that the corporation would seek alternative funding to pay the outstanding arrears of its obligations to the joint venture companies with the IOCs, which currently stands at about $6 billion, saying that he targets to pay all the arrears by the end of December this year.
He explained that the arrears of JV cash calls accumulated to about $6 billion because the National Assembly over the years did not allocate enough money for the cash calls in the country’s budget.
“If you ask for $4 billion; they (National Assembly) will give you $1.5 billion,” he said, adding that the corporation had started to explore alternative funding models to pay the arrears within this year, noting that he has the blessings of President Muhammadu Buhari to operate.
“I am grateful to be working with the President, who has done everything that you would expect in terms of giving you the latitude to bring the issues on the table; discuss with him; and reach decisions that will be fruitful to this industry. So, if you see the speed with which we are moving, it is because he has given me the free hand and is willing to work with me to sanitise the company. The President is very emotional about the poor people,” Kachikwu explained.
- Daily Independent