By Edith Ike-Eboh & Emmanuel Afonne
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) began its week with the task of normalising the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at different filling stations in the country especially the FCT following the strike embarked upon by Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) over remuneration.
The normalisation started with the corporation increasing the daily supply of petrol across the country from 550 trucks to 1,661 trucks to combat the buildup of fuel queues in some parts of the country.
It would be recalled that the intervention of Malam Mele Kyari, NNPC Group Managing Director, led to the suspension of the strike by the PTD for one week.
Speaking in a similar vein at the State House after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Kyari assured that with the resumption of loading, normalcy would soon return to the fuel stations across the country.
He said the ex-depot price of petrol would remain the same for the month of May, urging marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase.
Kyari urged motorists to avoid panic buying in order not to compound the situation.
He called on stakeholders in the downstream sector to collaborate with the NNPC to ensure a quick return to the zero-fuel queues situation that Nigerians had been enjoying before the unfortunate disruption of the distribution chain.
Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Musa Lawan, in the same vein said that there are about two billion litres of PMS in strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied for two months if no drop of fuel was imported in that period.
The PPMC boss explained that the disruption in the distribution chain was caused by the strike embarked upon by Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) over remuneration.
He assured that with the suspension of the strike upon the intervention of the GMD of NNPC, and the resumption of loading, coupled with the extension of loading time, normalcy would soon return to the filling stations.
Also in the week, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers section of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) suspended its industrial action.
This followed the intervention of the GMD of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari after a meeting brokered between the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
Kyari said the Corporation was committed to resolving the issues between both bodies in the interest of Nigerians.
He promised to rally all relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, within seven days to take a critical look at the issues with a view to providing lasting solutions to the problem.
“The PTD went on strike due to the inability of their employers, NARTO, to increase their compensation. We have given commitment to both NARTO and PTD that we will resolve the underlining issues within a week and come back to the table so that we have a total closure on it,” Kyari explained.
The National Chairman of the PTD, Mr Salmon Oladiti, while announcing suspension of the strike, said the decision was based on the intervention of the GMD of the NNPC.
Also speaking, the President of NARTO, Mr Yusuf Othman, and the Chairman, Ardova Plc/President of the Prudent Group, Mr Abdulwasiu Sowami, who spoke on behalf of other marketers, commended the NNPC boss for his prompt initiative to wade into the matter.
Other issues discussed were the need for close collaboration with products marketers and security agencies to curtail the challenge of smuggling, seamless payment transactions between Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and marketers, and equitable distribution of PMS to all petroleum products marketing companies.
Within the week, a group of petroleum tanker owners in Nigeria under the auspices of the Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products (ADITOP) visited the NNPC Towers to appreciate the GMD of the NNPC for his efforts to bring sanity into the downstream sector of the oil industry.
Speaking during the visit, the National President of ADITOP, Alhaji Lawal Mohammed, expressed delight at the achievements of the Corporation under the leadership of Malam Mele Kyari, especially in the area of stakeholder engagement.
“This singular action of meeting with us defines you as a leader with limitless leadership humility and untiring capacity for encouraging the concept of stakeholder management and eagerness to carry us along in every public policy engagements of the NNPC concerning the oil and gas value chain,” Mohammed said.
He pledged the group’s support for NNPC, adding that they were ready to place their trucks and retail outlets at the disposal of the Corporation for any pilot programme and investment initiative.
Kyari pledged to work with the petroleum products distributors to sustain the prevailing sanity in the downstream sector.
Also in the week, the gas development and commercialisation programme of the NNPC received a boost with the execution of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 Gas Development Agreement (GDA) by the NNPC and its partner, Sterling Oil Exploration and Production Company (SEEPCO).
The project would boost the nation’s gas production by 1.2trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Speaking at the signing ceremony which took place at the NNPC Towers, Kyari said the gas commercialisation strategy of the Corporation was in tandem with the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
Kyari added that the gas from the project would be processed at the Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon Limited (AHL) 125million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of gas per day gas plant located in Kwale, Delta State.
“This opens a gateway for other opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry, not just SEEPCO Group but for other companies too.
“We are happy that this will unlock significant volumes of gas which will deliver 125mmscfd to the Midstream plant that you have built.
“This is a great milestone for us and we are happy to do business with you. You are a very reliable partner because when you say things, you get them done,” Kyari said.
He said the development of OML 143 would bring value for the Federal Government, NNPC and SEEPCO Group which would in turn boost the nation’s economy.
Group Managing Director of SEEPCO, Mr Tony Chukwueke, said the OML 143 GDA is a major milestone for the country because it was the first Agreement in Nigeria that fully separates gas development from oil production.
Chukwueke noted that the arrangement would enable holistic development of the gas potential in the block.
He further explained that the GDA was a significant step as it was the first of its kind to expressly include terms that encourage the contractor to be effective in its cost management thereby passing on significant revenue to the Federal Government, NNPC and other stakeholders.
“I will like to take this opportunity to thank the GMD NNPC for his contribution to Nigeria and also recommit that SEEPCO is determined to play its role in the energy industry in Nigeria,” Chukwueke said.
Group Managing Director of SEEPCO, Mr Tony-Chukwueke with Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari at signing of OML 143 Gas Development Deal
The Gas Development Agreement is required, pursuant to the Production Sharing Contract obligations, to set out the terms for the development of the 1.2tcf Non-Associated Gas oil block by SEEPCO which is the Contractor with the NNPC as the Concessionaire.
The additional gas supply from the project would raise the nation’s gas production profile, make dry gas available for the proposed 650 megawatts NNPC/SEEPCO Independent Power Plant, boost in-country supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and general domestic gas utilization, increase energy security, and create job opportunities for Nigerians.
In another development, the National Defence College (NDC), during the week commended the NNPC for its efforts at sustaining energy security for the nation.
The Commandant of NDC, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, who gave the commendation during a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, also hailed the Corporation’s focus on transparency in its business operations.
He said that NNPC’s commitment to transparency and accountability has brought value to the nation, adding that with the right attitude and focus, government enterprise can thrive.
“The NNPC continues to impact the lives and livelihood of Nigerians positively through well thought-out policies and programmes.
“The transparency in the conduct of NNPC’s businesses over the last three years is unprecedented and worthy of emulation by other organisations of government,” Daji said.
Responding, Kyari called for deeper collaboration between NNPC and the NDC, stressing that such collaboration could engender efficient business operations in the oil and gas industry.
He urged the NDC to consider introducing a course in energy security as it was a strategic area critical to the maintenance of the nation’s oil and gas reserves.
“I don’t know the curriculum in the NDC, but obviously, energy security is part of national security,” Kyari said.
He assured that NNPC would continue to support the security agencies in their role of protecting the nation’s assets.
In the week under review, the NNPC Trading, a subsidiary of the NNPC, was certified as fully compliant with the National Fire Safety Code.
The approval was given by the Federal Fire Service (FFS) at an event where the Comptroller General of FFS, Mr Liman Ibrahim, issued the NNPC Trading with the Fire Safety Certificate.
Speaking at the event, the Comptroller General of FFS who was represented by the Chief Superintendent, Oluseyi Oduye, commended the Management of NNPC Trading for taking the necessary measures toward ensuring that its office complex is a safe working environment.
He said the NNPC’s strategy of optimising safety to actualise its business objectives was a good idea, urging the Managing Director of NNPC Trading to continue to comply with fire safety rules and regulations.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the NNPC Trading, Mr Lawal Sade, said the NNPC Group has a culture of safety which places high premium on the safety of employees, facilities and equipment of the organisation.
“Over the years, the NNPC has been known as a responsible entity that does not toy with the safety of its human capital and material assets.
“Our organisation has a robust policy on safety, which is strictly followed in all our operations across the country and beyond,” Sade said.
The NNPC Trading boss assured that his leadership would ensure that all safety operating standards were fully upheld in line with the NNPC policy of zero-tolerance for workplace accidents.
He added that efforts would be made to upgrade the company’s safety facilities from time to time.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the certificate is a statutory requirement for insurance coverage of the NNPC Trading complex and a standard requirement of the Fire Service Act (1963) part 2 of the National Fire Service Code.
Follow us on www.nannews.ng for weekly review of the activities of the Corporation. (NAN)
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