President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday unveiled the ‘new’ Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, declaring that it will operate as a commercial national oil company as Nigerians struggle across the country to buy fuel.
The unveiling officially changes the oil firm from a wholly state-run entity to a commercial company, limited by shares.
At the unveiling ceremony in Abuja, Mr Buhari said, “By chance of history, I was privileged to lead the creation of the NNPC on the first of July 1977. Forty-four years later, I was again privileged to sign the PIA act in 2021, heralding the reform of our petroleum sector.”
He added, “I, therefore, thank almighty God for choosing me to consistently play an important role in shaping the destiny of our nation’s oil company from the good to the great.”
According to the president, his regime is transforming the petroleum industry to strengthen its capacity and market relevance for the present and future global energy priority.
Mr Buhari pointed out that the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act provided “a new impetus with improved fiscal framework, transparent governance enhanced regulation and the creation of a commercially driven independent national oil company.”
He stressed that the ‘new’ NNPC would “operate without relying on government funding and free from institutional regulations such as the single treasury account, public procurement and fiscal responsibility act.”
Meanwhile, fuel scarcity persists across the country with some filling stations shut down amid reports some are selling above the official pump price.
NNPC became incorporated in September 2021, weeks after Mr Buhari had signed the PIA into law.