Oil production hits 1.9m barrels per day
• Govt intensifies engagement with militants
Despite the spate of attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria now produces 1.9million barrels of crude oil per day, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has said. Speaking while handing over the reign of power to the new Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, Dr Kachikwu also hinted that there is renewed vigour to rigorously engage militant groups in the Niger Delta with a view to ending the vandalization of oil installations in the region. His words: “We are now producing about 1.9m barrels per day of crude oil.
On the engagement with the militant groups, we are working on it and I need to meet with Mr. President for I just returned and obviously there is a lot more engagement that is required. There are gaps that seem to have developed and I need to understand what issues warranted that. But we will work towards closing those gaps.” The Minister also disclosed that the vandalized Dorados be back on stream at the end of the month (July). While pledging total support for Baru, Kachikwu explained that he has laid a solid foundation for the future success of the Corporation.
He added that the re-organization of the NNPC since he came on board has resulted in the reducing organization loss by 30% and foster deregulation policy, which has led to the reduction of the national consumption figure. “We undertook deregulation at the time nobody thought it was possible and if there’s anything we leave for this industry, it must be the legacy of that deregulation. Today our consumption of fuel has gone down by 30 per cent and we no longer have queues in the filling stations.
Kachikwu, who disclosed that thought the refineries continue to have operational challenges, they have been returned to the working ways simultaneously for the first time in 10 years. The Minister also stressed that 60% of the national refined products shall be produced locally while Nigeria will not only stop importation as from 2019, but also become a net exporter of refined petroleum products.
Under him, Kachikwu revealed that the NNPC made a profit of N270million, which is a radical departure from the hitherto known norm. Kachikwu, who called for support for the new NNPC helmsman, stated that a massive restructuring of the corporation has taken place and the gains should be sustained.
“It is surprising that in 11 months, I have managed to serve as group managing director of NNPC, I have managed to serve as minister of state for petroleum. I have served as the president of OPEC. I have served as president of APPA and I have just been appointed as the chairman of NNPC board, all in 11 months.
There are not many people in the world that would have that sort of opportunity in that time frame or given that opportunity by a leader. “I have always said it that it is not how long you serve, it what impact you make when you served. Public service chair are swivel chairs and they are made swivel for a purpose. So that they rotate and as you go somebody else comes in and continues the contributions that you made. And therefore the society benefits from the difference in approaches, contributions and ideas.
We must not get so carried away emotionally by attachments to those chairs. You must just focus on seeing it as a service, do your bit, do it well and try and leave a legacy and then move on because that is the only that the society gets better. It is not by holding on to those chairs,” he added. He said he would focus now on developing a new model for the Niger Delta region that would ensure peace in the oil rich region. In his response, Baru thanked the Minister for recommending him for the position while assuring him that he would work assiduously to deepen the on-going reform in corporation.
He added: “I will implement the new business model and grant needed autonomy to the SBUs with ABUs providing relevant directions and control that would ensure their growth and profitability. The management under my leadership will continue to explore ways of relieving government from the burden of cash calls obligations as well as address and defray the agreed cash call arrears to the International Oil Companies (IOCs).”