*Says NNPC lost N419bn in 21 months
*As FG halts further investment in refineries
By Michael Eboh
BUJA— The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, yesterday, called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to immediately publish its audited financial statements as stipulated by the act setting it up and as promised in its monthly reports.
This came as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, stated that the Federal Government would no longer invest in the repairs of the country’s refineries, and would also not concession or privatize them.
NEITI stated this in its latest Occasional Paper, entitled Review of NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations Reports, released in Abuja. The report covered the period January 2015 to September 2016.
NEITI, however, commended the NNPC for taking the initiative to provide up-to-date information to Nigerians on the state of the country’s petroleum sector through the monthly financial and operations reports that the national oil company had been publishing since August 2015.
It also called on the NNPC to open up more, especially by living up to its self-declared commitments to openness, transparency and accountability.
Commenting on the report, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, said: “What NNPC has done with its monthly reports could be termed a sea-change. From being the poster-boy for opacity, NNPC is voluntarily embracing openness and providing near real-time information about the state of play of our oil and gas sector today.”
NNPC lost N419bn in 21 months
Highlighting key figures from the report, NEITI stated that despite the fact that 1.28 trillion barrels of crude oil was lifted, amounting to $61.17 billion between January 2015 and September 2016, the NNPC made a cumulative loss of N418.97 billion in the period under review.
“Volatility was also noticeable in the group’s losses, ranging from N3.55 billion in January 2016 to N45.49 billion in September 2015. The group made profit only in two of the 21 months covered by the NNPC monthly reports under review.
FG halts further investment in refineries
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, stated that the Federal Government will no longer invest in the repairs of the country’s refineries, and would also not concession or privatize the refineries.
This was even as the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) Committee, Mr. Victor Nwokolo, called on the Federal Government to revoke oil blocks allocated oil and gas companies who fail to pay signature bonuses to the Federal Government and those who obtained their licenses through the back door.
In a statement by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Kachikwu stated that rather than concession or privatise the refineries, the government would encourage private sector investment and subsequent joint ownership and management of the facilities for greater efficiency.
Kachikwu, who was addressing members of the House Committee who were on an oversight visit to the ministry, explained that the Federal Government was working hard to bring in private investment capital to strengthen the refineries in order to boost the nation’s local refining capacity.