By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”FORMER Group Executive Director incharge of Exploration and Production of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, has urged the Federal Government to speed up the proposed reforms in the oil industry to strengthen the NNPC for better productivity.
Ogiemwonyi, who bemoaned what he described as the inability of the NNPC to compete favourably with other oil giants in the world, said the oil sector must be reformed in such a way that the various managing directors of NNPC subsidiaries were allowed to carry out their functions without external influences.
He noted that if the reforms were carried out, â€œcontracting periods will be shortened and more transactions will thrive in favour ofÂ NNPC subsidiaries.
â€œFor the downstream sector, market forces will determine the prices of petroleum products, although government will still provide some palliatives.
â€œIf this is done, there will be transparency, and high turn over will become a regular feature in the sectorâ€.
Ogiemwonyi said NNPC once operated ten oil blocks through one of its subsidiaries, NPDC, lamenting that today, some of the oil multinationals were now the major beneficiaries.
â€œThose blocks systematically eroded and subsequent ministers started re-assigning the blocks to some other prominent oil companies.
â€œThat was a major blow to the upstream sector. Some of the oil we drilled and some of the discoveries we made are today within the portfolio of major players of the industry,â€ he stated.