Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Has Doubled Supply Across The Country – Baru

In a bit to arrest the biting fuel supply across the country, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has reassured Nigerians of the Corporation’s commitment to end the scarcity.

Baru stated that the corporation has doubled the daily supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, from daily 700 trucks (about 27million – 30million) litres per day supply to 80million litres per day since the current hiccup in the supply chain was noticed a few days back.

Dr. Baru, disclosed this shortly before the signing ceremony of a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Corporation and the Benue State Government on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects, in Abuja, on Thursday.

The GMD attributed the hiccups in the supply of PMS to rumours about purported planned increase in the price of petrol.

He stated that some marketers, in their quest to cash in on the situation, suddenly started hoarding products.

“But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30 day sufficiency. The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equaling about 27-30m litres per day.

He further informed Nigerians that the NNPC has enough products sufficiency that will last up to 30 days.
Dr. Baru said that at least a billion litre petrol laden cargoes were heading to Nigeria shores at the end of December which he noted would return the Country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.

Dr. Baru, who expressed joy at PENGASSAN’s call-off of its planned strike, called on motorists not to engage in panic buying as the Corporation has more than enough products for domestic consumption.

Assuring that the fuel situation would soon fizzle out this week, Baru also warned marketers against hoarding, stressing that any filling station found wanting in this regard would lose its entire products to motorists.

He commended NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), for their support in helping NNPC tackle the menace of hoarding by filling stations.

NNPC Begins Exploration In Benue

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has officially begun oil exploration in the Benue Trough.

Group Managing Director Dr Maikanti Baru told Governor Samuel Ortom in  Benue yesterday, that seismic data collection would begin from Ondori Main Camp, across Makurdi, Guma, Gwer-East, Gwer-West and Logo councils.

According to Baru, the seismic data acquisition was based on encouraging results of previous studies in geological studies and basin modeling, aeromagnetic ground gravity and surface geochemistry survey.

He stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015, directed NNPC to resume oil exploration in some inland basins, including Chad Basin, and the Benue Trough.

Baru stated that the Biofuel project will create a million direct and indirect jobs; 20,000 hectares of sugarcane feedstock plantation; Cane Mill and Raw/Refined Sugar Plant, to produce 126,000 tonnes yearly, and Fuel-Ethanol Processing Plant, to produce 84 million liters yearly.

He added that the project component of Bagasse Cogeneration Power Plant will have a capacity of 64 megawatts, while Carbon Dioxide Recovery and Bottling Plant will produce 2,000 tonnes yearly.

According to him, animal feed, worth 63,000 tonnes, will be produced yearly.

Ortom hailed President Buhari for considering Benue for the projects.

The governor prayed God to make the projects a reality and expressed his administration’s commitment towards ensuring security for workers and equipment.



Source: The Nation

The Kachikwu–Baru Management Crisis

It transpired, recently, that an official memorandum by Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for Petroleum Resources, to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the substantive minister of Petroleum Resources, was leaked to the public. Whoever leaked the memo is not of interest to this writer because, if the author of the memo, the minister of state for Petroleum Resources, was denied access to his boss for several weeks by some overweening presidential aides, the question as to who leaked the memo could be answered by a pupil in the primary school!

In the said memo, dated August 30, 2017, Dr. Kachikwu accused Dr. Maikanti Baru, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (GMD, NNPC), of insubordination and, principally, of unilaterally awarding contracts valued at about $25 billion, and that the contract awards were done without the due process of the law and were patently ultra vires the GMD, NNPC’s office.

Since its establishment about four decades ago, the NNPC has wriggled in a cesspool of rank corruption, malfeasance and misfeasance. It is the very epitome of the worst form of corporate sludge. Like the emoluments of Nigeria’s lawmakers, the mode of the business and earnings of the corporation remain shrouded in mystery. Nigerians do not know how much crude oil is mined from the womb of the Niger Delta every day; neither do they know how much is realised from the sale of exported petroleum products on a daily basis. This explains why any revelation of graft in that corporation attracts the attention of not a few Nigerians.


Kachikwu has alleged that Baru had unilaterally awarded contracts worth more than $25 billion, knowing full well that any contract valued below $20 million should be handled by the NNPC Tenders Board or, if above $20 million, should be referred, with a “No Objection Certificate” from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). The NNPC is a unique corporation whose Board of Directors, in spite of the unambiguous provision in the instrument establishing it, is precluded from the affairs of the cash cow of the nation-space. Dr. Kachikwu’s memo nearly fully removed the lid from the sealed can of the legendary graft in the NNPC. The law establishing the NNPC is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act (Cap. 320, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990). Section 1 (2) thereof provides inter alia, as follows: “The affairs of the Corporation shall, subject to Part II of this Act, be conducted by a Board of Directors of the Corporation which shall consist of a Chairman and the following other members…” Being the Chairman of the NNPC Board of directors, Dr. Kachikwu wonders, in the said memo, why he was not privy to the alleged contract awards. Being a first-class brain in Law, he must have wondered why some nondescript “Circulars” from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) or some such other eerie official directives should take pride of place over the enabling Law of the NNPC, which has not been amended.

In what appears to be Baru’s response to a query from the Presidency, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, on behalf of his boss, the GMD, NNPC, stated, inter alia, that “the law and the rules do not require a review or discussion with the Minister of State or the NNPC Board on contractual matters.” That makes the Minister of State in the Petroleum Resources Ministry and Chairman of the NNPC Board worse than a spare tyre, a lame-duck minister/board chairman. “What is required,” according to Ughamadu, “is the processing and approval of contracts by the NNPC Tenders Board, the President in his executive capacity or as Minister of Petroleum Resources, or the Federal Executive Council (FEC), as the case may be…” Question: if the Minister of Petroleum Resources (PMB) has something to do with the “processing and approval of contracts,” why shouldn’t the spare tyre minister assume the position of the minister in his absence? Mr. Ughamadu then continued, “for both the Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale and Purchase (DSDP) agreements, there are no specific values attached to each transaction to warrant the values of $10 billion and $5 billion respectively placed on them in the claim of Dr. Kachikwu….” (underlining mine).

Ughamadu glibly labels transactions amounting to $15 billion as “off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum products under agreed terms,” whatever that means! The question which arises from this imperspicuous term is, considering that the NNPC Board is a bull-dog without a mouth let alone a tooth, which institution(s) or individuals lend their imprimatur to such transactions and terms (as in DSDP) involving billions of dollars? What is the meaning of “Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale and Purchase agreements” as used by Ughamadu in his response to his boss’s query? Couldn’t this be a corporate stratagem to avoid the NNPC Tenders Board, the NNPC Board, the FEC and the contracts over $20 million rule? Why should Mr. Ughamadu state that Dr. Kachikwu should not attach “specific values” to contracts valued at a colossal sum of $15 billion because they are classified as “off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum products under agreed terms”? Both Dr. Baru and Mr. Ughamadu have to enlighten Nigerians on the signification of this phrase, which sounds like a cryptic drain-pipe through which undisclosed crude oil, whose quantity and value are never officially disclosed, finds its way into the effluent channel! How do you transact any business without attaching monetary value to it?


We appeal to the Federal Government (not any of the chambers of the National Assembly) to institute a powerful investigative panel to look into the issues raised in Kachikwu’s memo to the President and the plethora of questions thrown up by Ughamadu’s reaction thereto. The panel should establish the truth or otherwise of Ughamadu’s claim that many contracts beyond the competence of the NNPC Tenders Board (NTB) were sent to the President for his approval, and find out whether the President, in his capacity as President or as the substantive minister of Petroleum Resources, is competent to approve any contract valued at more than $20 million. The panel should also painstakingly examine and review the various “circulars” and other official directives governing the operations of the NNPC against the background of the Act establishing the corporation, the NNPC Act.

Meanwhile, the position of the emasculated NNPC Board vis-à-vis the sweeping powers of the NTB must be carefully looked into and reviewed. Above all, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), in its original form, which seeks to introduce a clear and transparent regulatory framework into the corporation, should be enacted into law with efficient speed.




Source: The Guardian

The Pregnant Kachikwu-Baru Affair

What we feared most about the Buhari presidency – lack of internal cohesion – is what is happening to the respected General who was elected in 2015 on the crest of his ethical strength to deal with official corruption, Nigeria’s major blight.

That is the sad denouement of last week’s leaked scandalous story about the country’s notorious oil corporation. Specifically, a letter, which Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu wrote to the President in August on alleged impropriety in contract awards in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was curiously leaked to the press. Its contents not to mention the subtle insinuations were indeed damning to the presidency and the image of the corruption-fighting stance of the administration. Nearly one week after the letter was leaked to the public, there has been no official word from the presidency beyond the president’s routine meetings with the two men at the centre of the story. After the reported meetings, no statement was issued. This is an insult to the expectant people. What exactly is going on? What did the President think of the allegations? Why was there no explanation to the people about why a serving minister could not see the President who is the substantive head of the oil ministry? It is either the government holds the people in utter contempt or is simply insensitive. And that stance smacks of arrogance of power in a strange democracy!

The Petroleum Ministry is charged with overseeing the NNPC and its allied agencies, among other concerns in the oil and gas sector. As supervisor of the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, the business and conduct of the officials of the ministry are always in the public eye. Humungous sums of money usually pass through the state oil firms. Hundred of billions of naira both from oil sales and other sources accrue to the nation through these transactions according to laid down rules. In any case, these extant rules have never been clear to the public, as stories of alleged revenue leakage from the oil firms have been curiously regular.

Besides, too many persons and officials in that sector have fallen into the cesspit of corruption through fraud and shenanigans. Some recent top officials in the sector are reportedly facing trials abroad. The affairs of the NNPC have always been shrouded in some secrecy. Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has repeatedly reported lack of transparency in NNPC. The stakes are therefore very high.

It is perhaps for this reason that the President Buhari’s decision to take charge (as Minister) in charge of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2015 was not challenged. But sadly, this has not insulated the state oil corporation and oil ministry from corruption stories.

Now at issue is the relationship between the Minister and the GMD of the NNPC in terms of appointments, taking decisions and implementing same without the authority of the NNPC Board chaired by the Minister of State. A background to the crisis was the reported frosty personal relationship between the minister and the GMD of the NNPC.

In the beginning of appointments, which President Buhari ordered, Kachikwu as GMD was made boss to Baru; the latter was then sent to the Ministry on a desk assignment, a position which some considered as punitive. When later in a re-organisation, Kachikwu was elevated as Minister of State and Baru returned as GMD, the latter seemed to have decided to operate without recourse to the minister. The only difference was that officially, Kachikwu is senior to Baru. Or so it seemed. Whatever the reasons for their unhealthy relationship, it has not served the nation well. The differences between two officials should not have been allowed to be a source of embarrassment as it has been.

In the leaked letter, Kachikwu reportedly complained that high-level appointments in the corporation were made without his or the input of the NNPC Board. He also complained that policy moves, which would have transformed the sector are being hampered by the incumbent GMD. His words conveyed deep angst, with such references to ‘insubordination’ and ‘humiliation’ in the course of serving the nation. In summary, the former Vice President of Exxon Mobil, West Africa, accused the current GMD of a misdemeanour and therefore called on the President to call him to order.

There are many questions, in this regard. But can it be true that a serving Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has not had access to the President since August this year when the letter was written? What then is the colour of the administrative machinery of the presidency, coordinated by the Chief of Staff to the President? Is the Chief of Staff mischievous or incompetent or both? This has exposed a failure of coordination in the presidency that has been made weaker since April this year when the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has suspended again on an allegation of corruption. Is it possible that some other ministers too may have been quietly enduring this travesty in administrative procedures?

But by far the most damning element in Kachikwu’s letter is the alleged approval of a whopping $25 billion for sundry contracts without the consent or knowledge of the minister who is also the chairman of the Board of NNPC. What exactly is the true state of things Mr President? Has any rule or law been broken? Is there really a fifth column working behind the scenes to sabotage the efforts of the President? Will the government sweep this matter under the carpet? The NNPC’s explanations through press statement yesterday were insensitive and insulting. The president, who doubles as the minister of petroleum resources, should put his house of commotion in order and address the serious allegations.

The Nigerian people need to know. Transparency should be the keyword. The government should not simply remain silent and hope that the matter would go away. If there has been any infraction, appropriate sanctions should be invoked. The government should make a statement to clear the air. The NNPC Board should be allowed to function to guarantee due process. The process of consultations between cabinet members and the President should not be left to the discretion of the Chief of Staff who from all indications is an interested party; he is quite curiously a member of the NNPC board. The proposed reforms in the NNPC should, therefore, be allowed to continue. The overall interest of the nation should be the basic concern of the government on this pregnant affair.

Remarkably, current holders of power should realise that they are responsible to the Nigerian people. If they do not give account now because of official protection, someday they will be held accountable. Certainly, officials in the last administration did not envisage the current audit that has allegedly exposed massive looting of funds. The buck stops at the table of the President who has received some plaudits on fighting official corruption.

Finally, the President should restore public confidence in the operations of the NNPC. Kachikwu should not be bullied into silence. Having rightly cried wolf over perceived disregard for due process, he must not acquiesce like the typical Nigerian if things do not change. All stakeholders should keep the government on its toes until a proper and satisfactory explanation is provided on the activities of the NNPC and how its operations can be made transparent to serve the needs of the people.




Source: The Guardian

Nigeria’s Oil Output To Rise By 200kbpd In 2018 – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Sunday, projected a 200,000 barrels per day increase in Nigeria’s crude oil production by the first quarter of 2018.

This, according to a statement by the NNPC, would be made possible with the commissioning of the Umbilical Flow-lines and Risers (UFR) for the Egina Deep Offshore Project.

Speaking during the Load out Ceremony of the UFR for the Egina project by Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, in Port-Harcourt, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru also restated the commitment of the corporation to the development of Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry.

Baru disclosed that the module will guarantee the drilling of the first oil from the 200, 000 barrels per day Egina field by the first quarter of 2018’’

He commended Saipem on the successful completion of the Egina UFR project which also involves the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and pre-commissioning of 52 kilometers (km) of oil production and water injection flow-lines; 12 flexible jumpers; 2km of oil export line; 20km of gas export pipelines alongside the installation and commissioning of 80km of steel tube Umbilical and mooring FPSO and Offshore Loading Terminal. (OLT).

He said, “What is being celebrated is the efficacy of the Nigerian Content Act and the NNPC is strongly committed to the successful implementation of all provisions of the Act.

Also speaking, Managing Director of Total, Nicholar Terahz, said the Egina project was the largest contributor to the development of the Nigerian content in the oil industry being the largest offshore project currently going on in the country.

He noted that the employment opportunities and technology transfer the project had generated contributed significantly to the nation’s economy.

On his part, the Managing Director of Saipem, Guido D’Aloisio, said the performance of Nigerian engineers on the project was commendable, adding that the country would be proud of it.

Speaking in the same vein, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote, who was represented by the Board’s Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, Daziba Patrick Obah, said that the quality of jobs done on the project by Nigerians and the gains therefore will further deepen Nigerian content in the oil industry.

The NNPC disclosed that Egina field, which was discovered in 2003 is located at about 20km from Akpo Field within the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130, adding that it is situated in a water depth of 1, 750m.