By Dipo Olowookere
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, on Tuesday inaugurated eight committees charged with returning the three refineries in the country to their nameplate capacities by the year 2019.
This he said was in line with the presidential mandate of rehabilitating the nation’s refineries so as to stop the importation of fuel by the year 2019.
Mr Baru, while inaugurating the committees, charged them to deploy “out of the box solutions” to ensure that the refineries return to their good old days of top class performance.
“I am convinced that the teams we have selected here today will give the necessary direction towards returning the refineries back to their optimal levels of performance,” the GMD told members of the committees.
The GMD explained that in executing the assignment, the committees were expected to deliver well and within schedule as according to him, time was of the essence.
Although the target for the refineries rehab was to return them to 90 percent capacity utilization before the end of 2019, Mr Baru stressed that with more commitment from the committees, 100 percent capacity utilization was achievable.
“We want to show everyone that we can fully run the refineries. You must all work together to operate them at 100 percent capacity as this was the only way to ensure profitability,” Mr Baru stated.
The GMD also emphasized the importance of the workforce as according to him “we can fix the refineries but without the right people to operate them, they would go back to where they were or even worse”.
Earlier in the occasion, during his introductory speech, the Chief Operating Officer Refineries and Petrochemicals, Engr. Anibor Kragha, informed that the 2019 target was since for the first time in 20 years there was both the political will and the economic climate to ensure effective retrofitting of the refineries.
He further said that over 28 Expressions of Interest had been received so far for the financing of the rehabilitation project and that the goal was to get more by the end of the year.
Assuring everyone that the nation would not suffer financially from the project, the COO explained that the approved financial model would guarantee payment to partners only from incremental profits.
“Payment is therefore hinged on performance, ensuring a win-win situation for Nigeria”, Engr Kragha said.
Speaking on behalf of the committees, the Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation, Mr Isiaka Abdulrazaq, reminded members of the newly inaugurated Committees that the rehabilitation of the refineries was one of the targets of the President Buhari administration.
Mr Abdulrazaq expressed his confidence in every member of the committees to deliver on their various tasks.
The committees inaugurated for the rehabilitation of the refineries would be headed by a Steering Committee, chaired by the GMD.
Other committees are: Rehabilitation; Stakeholder Management; Financing; Legal; Procurement; Pipeline and Crude Oil Supply and Security as well as Staffing and Succession Planning.
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