Uche Usim, Abuja
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, on Tuesday said the management targets to reduce crude oil production cost from the current $27 per barrel to $20 in its strategic effort to deliver the best value for the country.
Baru made the disclosure in Abuja while hosting the executive members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo.
According to him, the Corporation has recorded stable crude oil production level, which now averages at around 2.3 million barrels per day.
While soliciting the firm support and cooperation of the NUJ, the NNPC boss said the national oil company was working assiduously to meet the goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is government’s policy vehicle to move to the economy to the next level.
Baru said: “We will work hard to meet the ERGP goals. And we’re focused on increasing oil and gas production and condensate.
“When we came in about three years ago, daily production was about a million barrels per day. Now, it’s 2.1 million barrels but as at this morning, we’re 2.3 million bpd. This stability and ability to push productions spring from good relations with host communities and internal cohesion.
On gas production, Baru said the NNPC via its subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) has increased from 400 million cubic feet to 1.5 million cubic feet.
On the Direct Sale Direct Supply (DSDP) approach to crude sales and products import, the NNPC NJ passed said Nigeria saved N1.2 billion in one year using that template.
He added: “Our transparency fetched us $.3.6 billion worth of foreign direct investment in 2017. In 2018, it was $3 billion, while in 2019, we have recorded $7 billion so far”.
The NNPC GMD also urged the media to help it in the fight against illegal refineries and products diversion.
“We have to remind the illegal refiners that they’re doing more harm. The crude is cooked poorly, spills in the waters, kills aqua life, causes acidic rain and impoverishes the people.
“It constitutes a grave health hazard. Look at the spot all over Port Harcourt. It’s from the activities of the illegal refineries.
“We also have to warn the crooks involved in product diversion/smuggling to stop it because it’s bleeding our economy. “Some do it with 50-litre jerry cans via motorcycles. Within few shuttles, a truck is drained and these smugglers use the porous borders. Petrol is N390 per litre in Cameroon, in Chad it is N350/litre
N310 a litre in Ghana and so on.
Kindly help us expose these criminals. If 10 million litres is taken outside Nigeria, it is N2 billion that has bled out of our economy.
“These criminals and those colluding with them must be exposed. It’s not our job to secure borders but to ensure energy security, which we shall always do”, Baru stated.
Responding, the National President of NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo said the visit was to congratulate the GMD on his honour bestowed on him at the World Press Freedom Day Awards.
Isiguzo also urged the NNPC to look into the plight of host communities with a view to guaranteeing uninterrupted crude production.
He further appealed to security agencies and traditional rulers of host communities to protect oil installations in the interest of the country.