By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that no fewer than 339 companies have tendered bids for the 2020/21 sales and purchase of the Nigerian crude oil grades.
The Group Managing Director of the national oil company, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the 2020/2021 crude oil tender prequalification bid opening ceremony in Abuja.
Mr Kyari noted that there is a continuously strong demand for different grades of Nigerian crude in the oil market despite the lockdowns and refinery run cuts, adding that this marked another transparent process for the corporation.
He said that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the corporation had modified the bidding process by leveraging on technology to progress the cycle of crude oil bidding.
According to him, there will be strict compliance with all the extant regulations and reinforcement of commitment by the corporation to transparency and accountability.
”We have continued to see strong demand for different grades of Nigerian crude in the oil market despite the lockdowns and refinery run cuts.
Represented by Mr Umar Ajiya, NNPC Chief Financial Officer, he said that the 2020/21 crude oil bidding had many objectives, which include engaging reputable, qualified and high capacity international and indigenous companies.
He said that companies would guarantee market placement of the Nigerian crude oil at optimum value during the next contracting cycle.
He noted that other objectives were to ensure that selection of off-takers was aligned with tested transparent and accountable procedures in compliance with the Public Procurement and Nigerian Content Acts.
The GMD further noted that apart from the objectives, the corporation would sustain transparency in all process and establish the best partners through a robust mix of big international players.
He assured of support for indigenous companies’ capacity development in the process.
He added, “Ultimately, crude oil is a major revenue earner in Nigeria, therefore, the credibility of this process is very important to us all.”
In his remarks, Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer Upstream, said that the corporation had taken steps to ensure the process of producing the best bidder emerged while adhering to COVID-19 principles.
He added that the process also adhered to the Corporation’s Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda, extant statutory requirements and most important the Public Procurement Act.
He noted stakeholders like the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), among others were part of the bid opening as part of statutory requirement.
Also, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mr Billy Okoye said that the selection of off-takers aligned with tested transparent and accountable procedures in compliance with the BPP act.
”The bid submission process was modified by replacing it with virtual submission interphase on the NIPex portal to ensure all applicants were granted the equal opportunity and access to unified submissions platform,” he said.
He further assured that the commitment of the corporation was to deliver the selection process with utmost transparency and accountability and to support the GMD’s agenda to deliver NNPC’s obligations to its stakeholders.
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