To many Nigerians, the new NNPC limited is either unclear or a mere logo (name) change. A country like Nigeria which is richly blessed with crude oil have suffered too many breakdown in the oil sector.
Nigeria is Africa’s main oil producer with 18 operating pipelines and an average daily production of 1.8 million barrels in 2020. Nigeria is the eleventh largest oil producer worldwide. However the country continue to suffer reoccurring fuel scarcity and mishaps in administration.
On the 12th of July, 2022, the NNPC threw a big party in Abuja to announce its transformation from a state-owned enterprise to state-owned commercial enterprise; changing from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to NNPC limited.
This is not the first time the government is conducting a christening/ re-christening ceremony of different government companies without any tremendous change.
However, President Buhari and the executives in the oil company, is focused on becoming a “a new dynamic global energy company” to guarantee a better energy for the future.
During the event, President Muhammadu Buhari recalled how this similar incident occurred when he was the petroleum minister. He facilitated the establishment of NNPC under the military regime of General Obasanjo. Coincidentally as the sitting president, he is witnessing the conversion of the same company (NNPC) to a commercially-driven and independent national oil company that will operate without relying on government funding, free from institutional checks.
Now, the government have said this change was made for better productivity to attract foreign investment to the oil sector.
However, this might be no different from previous changes made by Nigerian government. The board, management and employees of the old NNPC is the same as the new one. Same administration in most cases equals same results.
NNPC further clarified that, it would no longer remit any money to the Federation Account Allocation Committee. NNPC has been the sole importer of Petrol into Nigeria for several year running. The company had also been subsidizing the commodity all these years.
According to the President of the Petroleum products retail outlets owners association of Nigeria, Bill Qillis-itany, explained that if not for NNPC’s petroleum subsidy, PMS would be selling around N550 to N600/litre going by the international cost crude oil and the fluctuation of foreign exchange
With the NNPC now as a limited liability company, the chief executive officer Mele Kyari of NNPC limited has stated that subsidy is no more NNPC’s burden. Among other things, the new entity is expected to list on the stock exchange with the sale of shares to the public, such as Petrobras of Brazil and Aramco of Saudi Arabia.
The country of resent have been facing fuel scarcity which has taken a toll on Nigerians and the economy at large.
Hopefully this new change would be significantly beneficial to the Nigerian oil sector.