PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said that since coming to power, his administration has improved transparency in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through publishing monthly operational and financial report of the corporation.
He made the declaration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday while inaugurating three boards under the corporation.
The boards are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) and the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
He said: “Since the arrival of this administration, there has been an improvement in transparency through publishing monthly operational and financial report of the corporation.
“This, added to the major restructuring of the corporation and the liberalization of the downstream sector, are pointers to the determination and focus of the new NNPC under this administration.”
The president observed that the new boards were coming at a time when the global petroleum industry was witnessing a downturn in purchase which he said has also translated into dwindling production by most producer nations.
Noting that Nigeria has been harder hit by the misfortunes of oil producing countries, he said the composition of the NNPC board which will be chaired by the Minister of State Petroleum have “other well selected persons who have both the experience and knowledge to drive the NNPC into harnessing its potentials and fulfill its expectations to the nation even at this challenging time in the oil and gas industry.”
Buhari reminded them that oil and gas industry were the country’s foreign earners, “therefore the importance of these boards cannot be over emphasised.”
He counseled: “Your job should be to ensure propriety in the management of these most important national institutions.
“You should advise the minister and the corporation management on the most effective way for Nigeria to get more money from our assets.
“My expectations from the members of these boards is for them to ensure that the NNPC charts a way to face current economic challenges.
“These will involve a careful look at the ongoing reforms designed to steer the corporation to achieve better performance and efficiency.
“In addition, you should explore more innovative ways to resolve the joint venture funding constraints and other investment issues.”
The president admonished them that the task before them was enormous but was confident the wealth of experience and knowledge of members of the boards, the desired growth, government aspirations and indeed the aspirations of Nigerians will be achieved within a seasonable time frame.”
In a vote of thanks, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, assured the president of the competence and experience of the board members to deliver on the assignment.
He said NNPC has achieved a lot since the inception of the administration but much was left to be done.
While thanking the president for the opportunity given to the board members, he added: “We have heard your kind words of wisdom and the steer you have given us in terms of ensuring transparency, focus and thinking outside the box in a bid to finding solutions to many of the problems that plague many of these parastatals.
“We assure you that the people you have appointed are competent, experienced and nationalistic and will do the very best to reduce the burden on your shoulders in terms of the management and steer of this institutions.
“For NNPC, a lot like you mentioned, has already been achieved but a lot still needs to be achieve and we will be working with the management through the board to try and get them to where they should be.”
Kachikwu also reassured the president that “we will continue to work night and day to fulfill the mandate you have given to the Nigerian people and the steer and transparency that you have continued to exhibit as you rule this country.”