Abuja — Signs that the Federal Government is moving towards deregulation of the downstream petroleum industry has emerged, as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, Monday, disclosed that fuel subsidy and under-recovery have been eliminated completely in downstream petroleum operations.
In a statement in Abuja, Kyari, however, stated that the NNPC would continue to participate in the downstream sector and would continue to guarantee steady supply of petroleum products.
He said, “There is no subsidy and it is zero forever. Going forward there would be no resort to either subsidy or under recovery of any nature. NNPC will play in the marketplace, it will just be another marketer in the space. But we will be there for the country to sustain security of supply at market price.”
Kyari stated that NNPC was a transparent organisation, saying the National Oil Company was probably the only company in the world that publishes its monthly financial and operations reports.
He said the corporation was proud of the initiative, stressing that he guaranteed Nigerians of NNPC’s commitment and observance of transparency and accountability in all its transactions.
He further disclosed that as at Sunday, Nigeria’s crude oil output rose to 2.3 million barrels of crude oil, including condensates, adding, however, that the plan was for the country to ramp up production to three million barrels per day in the nearest future.
Kyari argued that Nigeria was endowed with premium crude oil grades which is supplied to Europe, Asia and India, stressing that despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected demand and supply fundamentals, all of Nigeria’s export terminals are still in operations.
He said, “The key issue in crude oil business is market fundamentals of demand/supply. I believe COVID-19 will subside and countries will come back to life. I don’t see oil price going below the $20 we saw last week. I’m certain, all things being equal, oil price will bounce back,” Mallam Kyari informed.
The NNPC’s helmsman assured Nigerians of ample supply and distribution of petroleum products, saying despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the corporation had in stock about 2.6 billion litres of petroleum products that could service the country’s energy needs for the next two months.
He stated that the NNPC was collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the supply and distribution value chain is not disrupted to guarantee energy security for the country.
Furthermore, Kyari noted that as part of its contribution to build a robust healthcare for Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas industry is set to embark on the construction of, at least, two hospitals and a world class diagnostics center in each of the geopolitical zones in the country.
This, he said, was in addition to the 250 temporary bed facilities that it offers to support government’s efforts in the fight against the Cronavirus pandemic.
He explained that the hospitals and the world class diagnostics centers would be an addition to the regular Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the upstream and downstream companies, as well as service providers operating in the oil and gas industry.