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    Thursday, March 21, 2024

    NNPC Public Listing of Company’s Shares Will Start Soon

    The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari, yesterday said that the anticipated public listing of the company’s shares at the stock market as provided for in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will start soon.

    Kyari told international oil and gas players participating at the ongoing 2024 CERAWEEK in Houston, United States that NNPC would become a quoted company in line with the PIA, adding that at maturity, some of the national oil company’s shares would be divested.

    Fielding questions bordering on the changes in NNPC and the company’s strategic position in Nigeria, during a fireside chat at the event, Kyari said NNPC had experienced transformation owing to the reform process triggered by the PIA.

    He said NNPC has moved away from a government-owned corporation to a limited liability company that is now commercial and profit-making company

    He explained that in the past, the company was a corporation clearly owned by government but wasn’t a commercial company and that the organisation needed to move away from that situation to a reform process that converted it to a full limited liability company.

    Kyari explained: “Today, the shareholders are largely the overall population of the country, very understandable, but it’s transiting to a situation where you can have other people owning interest in the company. What we did was to create a company that must pay taxes, pay royalties and also at the end, is able to provide dividends to its shareholders.

    “This is clearly not a money-losing business, and the oil and gas industry in Nigeria has matured to the extent that any company operating, not just us, can actually break even and make benefits.

    “Therefore, what really happened today is that you have a national oil company that is commercial, which has progressed from a loss-making company to now a profit-making company that is not just providing dividends to its shareholders.

    “It is creating value to its stakeholders and its partners, including some international oil companies and some local oil companies in a manner that is beneficial.“

    He insisted that the law had made NNPC to become a “fully commercial company that can migrate to a quoted company because it is clearly in the law establishing this company.”

    The GCEO further explained that the reform process backed by law, which is the PIA, provided a pathway to getting NNPC quoted so that others can buy shares.

    “So, it does create that opportunity. It never existed in the past, and therefore, ultimately, at maturity, this company’s shares will be owned by others,” he said.

    On the exact date to get NNPC quoted, Kyari said: “The law anticipates three years of incorporation of the company. You can start the process and therefore, it is within sight”.

    He said NNPC, which is the largest oil and gas company in Africa as well as the largest corporate entity in the continent is very critical to Nigeria’s resource management and resource funding.

    Kyari said because of NNPC’s strategic importance in the country, everything done in Nigeria has a lot of connection with what happens in the company.

    Meanwhile, the NNPC yesterday reiterated its commitment towards utilising Nigeria’s abundant gas resources to trigger Nigeria’s industrialisation and economic development.

    NNPC Executive Vice President, Upstream, Mrs. Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, disclosed this during a panel session at the ongoing 2024 CERAWeek Conference in Houston, the United States.

    The NNPC in a statement by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, quoted Eyesan as saying that the company is vigorously opening avenues for infrastructural gas development through various gas projects spread across the country.

    Eyesan, whose session addressed the theme: “What are the Choices for Upstream Strategies?” said Nigeria is a predominantly gas-rich country which boasts of over 200TCF of gas that can be leveraged for the country’s industrialisation and economic development.

    She noted that NNPC plans to deepen gas utilisation domestically for industrialisation and ensuring that the entire country feels and optimises the use of the resource.

    “Our focus is how do we move from predominantly oil player to gas player and not just for gas for the sake of it, but gas for power generation and for industrialisation, “she stated.

    Eyesan observed that the NNPC is also focused on emission reduction and gas flare-out.

    “We want to capture all gas flared, utilise it and for domestic use and  ultimately, increase our energy transition footprints.

    “NNPC is keying into the government agenda of using gas as a transition fuel and for us, we want to ensure not only the domestic gas market, but we also expand that to the region and internationally,” she said.

    While calling on African countries to collaborate with one another in order to ensure even distribution of energy resources, Eyesan said collaboration was key as not all countries within the sub-region are endowed with equal proportion of energy resources.

    “For us to ensure that we continue to subsist within the sub-region, we must be willing to work collaboratively and ensure that there is even distribution of energy resources we have across the sub-region,” she added.

    On energy transition, Eyesan stated that the subject had evolved over the years, adding that for Sub-Saharan Africa, the narrative has been on how to address the energy poverty issue while for Nigeria.

    She explained that the NNPC will continue to look at areas where it has competitive advantage to define the strategy.

    Other energy experts on the panel were: The Chief Upstream Strategist, Energy, S&P Global Commodity Insights, Bob Fryklund; President of Pathways Alliance, Kendall Dilling and the Executive Vice President, Exploration and Production International, Equinor, Philippe Mathieu.

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