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Saturday, July 25, 2015

PRESIDENT BUHARI TO SPLIT NNPC INTO TWO….PLANS FRESH BID ROUND FOR OIL BLOCKS



President Muhammadu Buhari has finally revealed what will be the fate of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, saying the national oil company will be divided into two successor entities under his administration. The President, who stated this in an interview with journalists in Washington DC during a four-day visit to the United States, an extract of which was made available to Saturday PUNCH, explained that the decision would form one of the key steps of his reform of the country’s oil and gas sector.

The NNPC is considered a cesspool of corruption and fraud signposted by the non-remission of revenues from oil sale to the Federation Account. Hence, one of the first reform moves by All Progressives Congress –led administration is expected to start at the NNPC.


There had been insinuations that Buhari would unbundle the NNPC into four companies but the President, in the Washington interview, said rather than breaking the NNPC into four companies, it would be divided into two – regulator and investment vehicle. While one of the successor companies will be an independent regulator, the President said the second would operate as an investment vehicle for the country.

He said, “I am reforming the oil and gas sector, breaking up the NNPC into two parts – the first will become an independent regulator for the sector, while the second will act as an investment vehicle for the country.”

Buhari also said there would be a new bid round for oil blocks in the country, adding that he favours transparent auction process.

“I will also end political control of the awarding of drilling and exploration rights by introducing a system of independent, transparent auctioning for licences,” the President said.

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