Baru Seeks NUJ’s Support to Name & Shame Cross-Border Smugglers

NNPC GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, welcoming the National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr. Chris Isiguzo in his office

By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has called on members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ) to join the Corporation in naming and shaming cross-border smugglers of petroleum products.

Dr. Baru, made the call when he played host to the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its President, Mr. Chris Isiguzo, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Tuesday.

The NNPC helmsman said the activities of cross-border petroleum products smugglers had caused much hardship for Nigerians and robbed the nation of huge sums of money and so, should not be allowed to continue.

He also urged the NUJ to support the NNPC in educating and discouraging people from indulging in illegal refining of petroleum products as it pollutes the air with soot, destroys aquatic lives and the entire ecosystem.

“We are open to collaboration with the journalists because you are everywhere to enable us execute our national mandate in terms of gas to power, diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel. Today, PMS is everywhere and I am a fulfilled man,” Baru enthused.

Speaking on the achievements of his management, the GMD disclosed that Nigeria’s current crude oil production was 2.3million barrels per day including condensate, adding that production as at the end of 2018 was 2.1mbpd.

Baru stated that the Corporation in compliance with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Muhammadu Buhari, had reduced the cost of crude oil production per barrel from $27 to $22, with a commitment to drive it further down.

He noted that the Corporation was working round the clock to rid the Federal Government of the huge financial burden of Cash-Call commitment by developing workable alternative funding arrangements.

“The NNPC is increasing crude oil production through its flagship Upstream Company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). The NPDC in 2016 was producing just 65,000 barrels per day equity but as at today, the company is producing 166,000 barrels per day equity but overall production of the company is about 300,000 bpd,” Baru informed.

He said the NPDC was the main supplier of gas to the power sector, stressing that the Corporation was currently producing 1.5million standard cubic feet of gas making NNPC the largest supplier of gas to power.

The NNPC helmsman noted that the Corporation had recorded enormous saving of $1.2bn through its Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme adopted for petroleum products imports.

He added that through the DSDP scheme, the Corporation had succeeded in ensuring steady supply and distribution of petroleum products across every nook and cranny of the country, adding that as at today he was a happy man because every nook and cranny of the country was well supplied with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, kerosene, diesel and aviation fuel.

On transparency, Baru said the Corporation’s drive for openness in its financial operations have yielded much fruits leading to the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which have bolstered the national economy.

According to him, the Corporation has instituted a regime of transparent contracting and bidding processes in all its major projects with the full participation of Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCDMB), Bureau of Public Enterprises and a host of other civil society organisations interested in transparency.

Dr. Baru stated that the NNPC has devised sustainable teamwork between the Oil and Gas Industry and the numerous host communities in the Niger Delta to curb security challenges that had dipped crude oil production some years back.

He disclosed that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company (PHRC) had commenced, adding that the Corporation would ensure full rehabilitation of all the state owned refineries through private financing.

Earlier, President of NUJ, Mr. Isiguzo, congratulated Baru on his 2019 NUJ Distinguished Friend of the Media Award, saying the award was given to him on the basis of his support for the media and freedom of the press.

He lauded the GMD for the stability in national crude oil production, noting that the gesture had repositioned NNPC to become globally competitive.

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