By Emman Ovuakporie &Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – MINISTER of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu yesterday said that the four refineries in the country will require between $300 million to $500 million to function effectively.
The minister disclosed this during an interactive meeting with the joint House of Representatives Committee on Gas Resources, Petroleum (Downstream and Upstream) and Local Content chaired by Rep Victor Nwokolo over the controversy on the recent unbundling of NNPC to 30 companies.
He acknowledged the communication gap between his office and the National Assembly on the issue of unbundling of the NNPC, adding that the concerns expressed by members were legitimate.
Kachukwu said that the “unbundling was used to qualify the sub-sects” otherwise called ‘Divisions’, and not companies as would have been applicable to the actual unbundling of the Corporation as stipulated in the PIB.
He assured that the restructuring of NNPC will help in achieving 16 to 18 month self-sufficiency of supply of Petroleum products as well as the establishment of the modular type refineries by investors as contained in the recent advert placed by the Corporation.
He noted that when the 650,000 refinery planned by Dangote Group comes on-stream by 2020, it would boost domestic refining capacity, adding that the policy was to drive the oil marketers to invest in the industry going forward.
The Minister explained that 17 subsidiaries of NNPC had been identified and that additional four were created, adding that the administrative restructuring would help in generating more jobs, profitability and efficiency of various sub-sects of the Corporation, including gas and power, property, pipeline and refineries, among others.
Kachukwu noted that 70 per cent of the N350 billion loss incurred by the Corporation came from PPMC, adding that plans are underway to adopt Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the bid to boost the viability of the NNPC subsidiaries Inc!using shipping company, medical centres.
According to him, the Corporation was on the verge of finalising arrangement with an American company to maintain the NNPC medical centres adding that the negotiation has reached advance stage with the World largest shipping company, to drive the NNPC shipping company established over the past eight years without owing a vessel.
He assured that the Corporation has no plan to disengage the 10,000 workers on its payroll but added that the administrative restructuring will help to put the 3,000 redundant staff in the competency venture.
The lawmakers and the Minister resolved to work harmoniously towards the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).