NNPCL: Not Of Everything; Not Playing Games With Financial Engineering

By Adewole Kehinde

“In the world of diplomacy, some things are better left unsaid.”Lincoln Chafee

I came across a write-up tagged “Public Service/Analysis” by the Editorial Board of Africa Oil+Gas Report with a nasty headline that says “NNPC Should Focus on the Technical Job, Not Playing Games with Financial Engineering.”

As I was reading the so-called “public service” published by Africa Oil+Gas Report, I came across another headline titled “The Danger of an NNPC of Everything” by Waziri Adio.

It all seems mischief makers have rolled up their sleeves to drag in the mud the credibility of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

Africa Oil+Gas Report and Waziri Adio ignorantly said that “NNPC is not the finance ministry that should be assigning itself the mandate of supporting the Naira,” but forgot that Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is owned by the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum, which hold the shares on behalf of Nigerians.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited deserves a very high commendation for standing in the gap for the country because the loan from AFREXIM Bank will bring relief to the Naira.

We should not forget that Nigeria needs massive dollar inflows to address the supply constraints in its foreign exchange market.

The Africa Oil+Gas Report went so low as to say “NNPC should ordinarily be ashamed and concerned that the drop in crude oil output, which will help worsen the value of the naira is largely of its own doing”.

They forgot that the drop in crude oil output was caused by challenges ranging from insecurity, low investment, and de-prioritization of funding for hydrocarbon development arising from the energy transition.

The Federal Government is already looking into short-, medium-, and long-term incentives to attract and retain more investment in its offshore and onshore rigs.

NNPC Limited is already improving its technical efficiency by leveraging technology and innovation to achieve its goal of building an energy company of global excellence.

The company is already finding a way to boost production volumes above six months through its joint venture partners by adding about 192,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Nigeria’s oil production between the third quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2024.

It is on record that NNPC Limited has resumed crude oil production activities on many OMLs, and the wells will deliver and increase Nigeria’s oil earnings soon.

I am aware, through Executive Vice President, Upstream, NNPCL, Adokiye Tombomieye, that crude oil production has resumed in earlier challenged areas like OML 29, OML 18, and OML 24, which is expected to ramp up to about 80,000 barrels around that axis with its JV partners in Q3 2023.

Also, oil field development in OMLs 71 and 72 is expected to add about 20,000 to 30,000 barrels to national production, possibly by late Q3 2023.

I am also mindful that another field in First E&P OML 85 will add about 20,000 barrels by Q1 2024, and within the deep-water space, the company is concluding the Apo turnaround maintenance, which will add about 10,000 barrels.

Additionally, within OML 130, the company is hooking up two injector wells and expects that those will bring another 10,000 barrels by Q3 2023, while the Bonga wells are expected to deliver an additional 7,000 barrels.

In his own article, Waziri Adio said the country doesn’t need an NNPCL that “dabbles into diplomacy and religious affairs.”

Even though state-owned companies often have specific mandates related to providing services or generating revenue for the government, however, there may be cases where state-owned companies indirectly support diplomatic efforts.

For example, state-owned companies involved in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, or telecommunications might participate in international projects or partnerships that have diplomatic implications. Additionally, they could be involved in business negotiations and international trade agreements, which can have diplomatic elements.

We all know that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is fully involved in energy and infrastructure.

My question is: Can a company do business in a war-ravaged environment? The answer is no. To me, NNPCL’s moves are praiseworthy.

Kyari’s achievements as NNPC Limited’s GCEO have been recognized both locally and internationally. His achievement has been described as unrivaled in the history of the National Oil Company.

He was responsible for the Open Government Initiative, which ushered in an era of transparency and accountability in the NNPC’s operations. He has also kept his promise to NNPC Limited and Nigeria by increasing the nation’s oil reserves to 40 billion barrels from 37 billion barrels.

Finally, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited will continue to be more useful with its efficiency, transparency, and accountability under the leadership of Mal Mele Kyari.


Adewole Kehinde can be reached via 08166240846; kennyadewole@gmail.com