By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has inaugurated eight committees for the rehabilitation of three refineries in the country for optimum operation by 2019.
They are the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries.
In a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Group Managing Director, Group Public Affairs division, on Wednesday in Abuja, it said that the idea was to ensure it met the presidential mandate.
“In line with the Presidential mandate of rehabilitating the nation’s three refineries, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has inaugurated eight committees charged with returning the refineries to their nameplate capacities by the year 2019,” it said.
It quoted the group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru at the inauguration charging the committee members to deploy “out of the box solutions” to ensure that the refineries return to their good old days of top class performance.
“I am convinced that the teams we have selected here today will give the necessary direction towards returning the refineries back to their optimal levels of performance,” he said
The GMD explained that in executing the assignment, the Committees were expected to deliver well and within schedule as according to him, time was of the essence.
He added that the target for the refineries rehab was to return them to 90 per cent capacity utilisation before the end of 2019.
He said that with more commitment from the committees, 100 per cent capacity utilisation was achievable.
“We want to show everyone that we can fully run the refineries. You must all work together to operate them at 100 per cent capacity as this was the only way to ensure profitability,” Baru said.
He also emphasised the importance of the workforce in fixing the refineries.
“We can fix the refineries but without the right people to operate them, they will go back to where they were or even worse,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrochemicals, Engr. Anibor Kragha, informed that the 2019 target was laudable as it was the first attempt in 20 years supported with political will to rehabilitate the refineries.
He further said that over 28 Expressions of Interest had been received so far for the financing of the rehabilitation project and that the goal was to get more by the end of the year.
Assuring everyone that the nation would not suffer financially from the project, the COO explained that the approved financial model would guarantee payment to partners only from incremental profits.
“Payment is therefore hinged on performance, ensuring a win-win situation for Nigeria,” Kragha said.
Also, the Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation, Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq, reminded members of the newly inaugurated Committees that the rehabilitation of the refineries was one of the targets of the President Buhari’s administration.
Abdulrazaq expressed confidence in the members of the committees to deliver on their various tasks.
The Committees inaugurated for the rehabilitation of the refineries would be headed by a Steering Committee, chaired by the GMD.
Other Committees are: Rehabilitation; Stakeholder Management; Financing; Legal; Procurement; Pipeline and Crude Oil Supply and Security as well as Staffing and Succession Planning. (NAN)