By Etuka Sunday
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the exploratory activities it has been spearheading in inland basins.
PENGASSAN National President, Comrade Francis Johnson, who stated this Tuesday in Abuja when he led the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the union on a courtesy visit to the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Mikanti Baru, said the yeoman job being undertaken by the NNPC with regards to the frontier basins would benefit the nation ultimately.
Johnson said the union’s fervent prayer was for a breakthrough to be achieved in the Corporation’s exploratory efforts in the basins.
The Management of NNPC under the leadership of Dr. Baru, has in recent time, embarked on aggressive exploratory operations in the nation’s frontier basins of the Chad Basin and Benue Trough in line with the aspiration of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to increase the reserves base of the country.
Dr. Baru, since assumption of office last year, has drummed up support for the exploration activities with critical stakeholders in Bauchi, Borno, Sokoto and Nassarawa State.
In Nassarawa State recently, he disclosed that NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services (FES), a services company of the Corporation, had mobilized the Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL), (an Upstream arm of the NNPC) to acquire seismic data in the Benue Trough commencing from the Keana area.
At the visit to the GMD, the PENGASSAN National President also commended the NNPC GMD for collaborating with other government agencies and critical stakeholders to bring about efficiency in the Petroleum Industry, adding that his efforts has also led to the improved products supply situation being enjoyed in the country.
Comrade Johnson said the NNPC Management was capable of returning the refineries to profitability, while expressing the union’s confidence on the Corporation’s effort in that regard.
“PENGASSAN will support any effective, efficient and sustainable model that can make the refineries viable,’’ Comrade Johnson said.
He also called on the GMD to intensify the ongoing rehabilitation of the downstream facilities, especially the depots, pipelines, tank farms and jetties to further ensure seamless supply of products across the country.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the PENGASSAN President emphasized the need for its speedy passage, adding that the unions were ready to collaborate with the National Assembly to resolve knotty issues associated with it. .
Responding, Dr. Baru disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated him and the NNPC Management to bring back the refineries to their glorious days and thanked the unions for their belief in his capability to deliver on the president’s mandate.
He said funding had been a major challenge in the rehabilitation of the refineries but was however optimistic that the various options being explored would yield positive results.
NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu in a statement quoted the GMD to have expressed appreciation to the unions for their support in his effort to move the Petroleum Industry forward, while lauding their pragmatic approach to handling issues, saying this has helped to bring about industrial harmony.
On his part, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Corporate Services, Alhaji Isah Inuwa, urged the unions to continue to work on the part of amity, while assuring them of NNPC management’s readiness to continue to collaborate with them in the overall interest of the Industry and the nation.