09 July 2016, Abuja – Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, formally stepped down as the Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with the handing over to the new helmsman, Mr. Maikanti Baru.
This was even as the newly appointed GMD, Baru, rolled out a 12-point programme for the NNPC, which included addressing and defraying the cash calls arrears owed International Oil Companies, IOC, by the NNPC and also ensuring that the Federal Government is relieved of the burden of cash calls obligations.
Speaking during the handover in Abuja, Kachikwu promised to partner and support the new GMD, in undertaking a wholistic reform of the NNPC and the Nigerian petroleum industry and also in bridging the infrastructure deficit in the industry.
Kachikwu said over the last 11 months when he held sway at the NNPC, a number of milestones were attained, while he expressed optimism that the new GMD would surpass his achievements and take the corporation to new heights.
Some of the achievements, according to Kachikwu, included the restructuring of the NNPC, the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, revamping of the countries refineries and bringing the NNPC to profitability among others.
Going forward, Kachikwu promised to bridge the infrastructure gap in the petroleum industry, especially in the gas sector, ensure that the legacy audit of the NNPC is completed; continue the restructuring and profitability drive of the NNPC and ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
He further stated that effort would be made to reduce the contracting cycle in the oil and gas industry; find a workable model that would address the Niger Delta challenges and undertake an overhaul of the regulatory mechanism in the industry. In his response, Baru promised to sustain the ongoing reforms in the NNPC and would always solicit the support of Kachikwu in driving the growth of the NNPC.
Baru while reeling out his 12-point programme for the NNPC, promised to create an all-inclusive internal advisory console of security, comprising various stakeholders to brainstorm and come up with suggestions that would address security and host communities agitations.
Baru also vowed to undertake an appraisal of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, ensuring that all weak contractual agreement will be reviewed and bad ones terminated immediately, while he stated that the NNPC would leverage on its equity position to cause the development oif key gas assets for both domestic and export, as well pursue the expansion of gas network across the country.