By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, has maintained that his agency does not operate a separate crude account as being alleged in some quarters.
Mr Baru made this known on Thursday in Abuja to newsmen after declaring open the 2016/2017 bid for crude oil grades from bidders like ENI, Forte, SOCA, Bangbang B, Northwest and Bellpoint.
The NNPC GMD stressed that the corporation operatesa transparent system to ensure fairness in all its transactions.
“There is nothing that is hidden. It is done open for everybody to see as it is seen today. That is what we do in all our tenders.
“When we sell this crude, the money goes straight to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) account on behalf of the Federation and the nation.
“NNPC does not operate any of those accounts. The best input that comes to NNPC is confirmation that the money has been paid; but we have no signature rights on these accounts.
“This is contrary to the perception of several people that NNPC is withholding some money for and on behalf of the Nigerian people.
“All the crude that we sell goes to the Nigerian people. This event is to show the agenda of the President as far as transparency and accountability are concerned,” he told journalists.
Also speaking on the quality of crude oil from Nigeria, Mr Baru said the commodity was still in high demand in the global market.
“Nigerian crude has continued to earn premiums and it is hot cake all over for refiners because of the light nature of the crude.
“It induces very high yields on the valuable products that you produce from crude oil. Nigerian crude oil continues to maintain market.
“In fact, contrary to a lot of speculation that a lot of Nigerian crude goes to China, they do not.
“Most of them are consumed and refined in India and Europe, particularly this year and last year; most of Nigerian crude end up in European refineries,” he said.
Shedding more light on the volume of oil the country gets when things go smoothly, he said this is in the region of 600,000 barrels per day.
“We also have somewhere in the region of 100,000 barrels per day in terms of royalty and various tax oils that is released from the PSC operations.
“These are the kind of volumes that we are expecting from next year,” he said.
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