Oscarline Onwuemenyi 18 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
If all goes according to plans, the Nigerian government would be raising funds from international investors and the private sector for the Joint Venture, JV, cash calls in 2016.
This has become necessary as Nigeria is finding it increasingly difficult to meet its obligations towards financing oil and gas industry operations due to drop in global crude oil prices.
Cash call is the financial contributions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and its six multinational joint venture partners to their oil and gas annual operations.
The country’s JV partners include Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC; ExxonMobil Corporation; Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL; Total Nigeria; Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, and Pan Ocean Oil Company.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who doubles as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, said high level discussions were on with local and international investors to bridge the perennial JV cash call funding gap.
Dr. Kachikwu said the initiative was aimed at removing the burden of funding capital intensive projects in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry from the federal government.
He said in the years ahead, the NNPC would privatise the country’s over 5,000 kilometres of pipelines network in order to enhance its efficient management, to bring to the barest minimum the high incidence of vandalism of the infrastructure in the petroleum sector.
The minister said in the next 24 months, Nigerians would see a positive and dramatic turnaround in the country’s refineries, pointing out that going forward the new refinery model that would be introduced would not only meet the country’s petroleum products need, but also that of the West African sub-region.
“The new model is that refineries would now buy their own crude oil; refine it and make remittances to the Federal Account Allocation Committee.
“The refineries would operate a semi-autonomy system that would enable them to run in a profitable manner,” Kachikwu said.
NNPC operations, he also said, were now being handled transparently and efficiently, with publication of its monthly accounts, to inspire investors’ confidence and improve the perception index of the corporation in a positive light in the eyes of the global community.