By Etuka, Sunday
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru yesterday besought the new Executive of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to help in the fight against vandalism and purveyors of fake news in the country.
Dr. Baru said the plea was necessary because of the devastating effect of vandalism and fake news to the oil and gas industry, and the nation’s economy in general.
“My Charge to you is to rein in the fake news phenomenon to ensure the credibility of the Press. Stem the activities of fake media men.
“Other Area we seek your support is to let Nigerians know the challenge pipeline vandalism poses to our operations and the enormous losses therefrom,” he said.
Baru who made the appeal when the new NUJ Executive paid him a visit at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, also solicited for the support of NUJ to enlighten Nigerians on NNPC’s activities, achievements and values.
Speaking on the achievements of his management, the GMD disclosed that Nigeria’s current crude oil production was 2.3million barrels per day including condensates, 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 said, the stability and ability to push steady production was made possible through the determined efforts of the corporation.
“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.
He said, the corporation has not only saved the country over $1.2billion, but has attracted steady Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country; $3.6billion in 2016, $3billion in 2018 and expected $7billion in 2019.
He listed the Corporation’s other achievements to include: “Increasing crude oil production by NNPC flagship Upstream Company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), ensuring a boost in gas
production, making NNPC the largest supplier of gas to power, saving enormous financial resources through Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme adopted for products imports and ridding government of huge financial burden on Cash-Call commitment by developing workable alternative funding arrangements.”
Others include: “Reducing cost of crude oil production per barrels in the country from $27 to $22, yet with the commitment to drive it further down, exploring opportunities in frontier basins to boost Nigeria’s reserves base and production, sustaining petroleum products supply nationwide and undertaking a wholistic rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries to boost capacity utilization.
He said, the corporation has instituted a regime of transparent contracting/bidding processes in all our major projects-ensuring transparency of our process and procedures and in all our activities.”
“The transparent processes and procedures recently won for the Corporation, commendation by the Industry watchdog: Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEIT),” he said.
He said, NNPC was able to device a 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 appreciated the Award given to him by the NUJ in May, 2019.
“I appreciate your Award, Friend of the Media Award, bequeathed to me on May 6, 2019. I missed the event due to an offshore assignment. My apologies in this regard. I appreciate the existing cordial relations between NNPC and the media and look forward to further collaboration,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the president of the NUJ, Mr. Chris 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.
Press Freedom Award was an initiative of the union designed to promote some of its key objectives.