The Dr. Maikanti Baru-led Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been repositioned for efficiency and profitability from its previous debtor status, says an aide to the NNPC chief.
The top aide, who preferred anonymity, said Duke Oil which is the trading arm of the NNPC has, under Baru, secured about $2 billion discounts in the last one year from renegotiated upstream contracts.
Describing the recent allegations against his principal by the State Petroleum Minister, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, as a mere distraction, the aide said Dr. Baru was committed to transforming the NNPC Trading Company, as well as its other subsidiaries to a profitable venture.
“The whole idea of Dr. Baru is to empower all these NNPC subsidiaries. He is of the view that if all these companies are empowered, NNPC will be able to make enough money for the Federal Government to build infrastructure for Nigerians,” the aide said.
Speaking further, the aide said Duke Oil has been able to secure the release of over $30 million that was previously held in Bank PNB Paribas in Switzerland, and which has allegedly been deposited into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Meanwhile, since Duke Oil commenced lifting crude oil, Dr. Baru “has paid considerable attention to the activities of the trading arm of the NNPC. The Buhari administration’s policy of change in the NNPC, has succeeded in repositioning of the esrtwhile moribund company to one of profitability, excellence and value addition. It has made a giant stride in the trading of crude oil, export and import of petroleum products, receiving substantial amount of liftings. The records are there for all to see,” an industry source has said.
The source said Duke Oil “is lifting just about 6.5 percent of national production. This figure is very negligible when compared to similar trading companies in other parts of the world,” dispelling the allegation that the NNPC Trading Company was solely lifting crude oil allocations.
“Sonangol Limited, the Angolan Oil Trading Company lifts about 1.7 million barrels per day of national production while Norwegian Oil Trading Company, StatOil lifts about 2.1 million barrels per day representing 100 and 90 per cent respectively.
“Duke Oil has launched NNPC into international oil trading business by actively participating in the business using best industry practices. On daily basis, Duke Oil aspires to improve its participation in the international trading frontiers.
“The current administration of President Buhari has succeeded in reversing the gradual decline of the NNPC trading. The story of Duke Oil is one of success,” said the source.