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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Discard PIB, cancel offshore crude processing contract, APC tells Buhari

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to discard the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, cancel ongoing offshore processing agreements and discontinue the fuel subsidy regime.

The APC in its recommendation to the President, also stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is indebted to its eight joint venture (JV) partners to the tune of $3.5 billion, about N7 billion, stating that the debts have ballooned over the years.

Details of the report obtained from Bloomberg, quoted the APC as saying that the NNPC paid $6.9 billion out of the $10.4 billion it owed, adding that the difference of $3.5 billion was covered by loans from international oil companies.

The APC report said, “These debts are costly and opaque, and they erode the NNPC’s bargaining power with the oil companies. Nigeria’s inability to fund its joint-venture budgets is delaying projects, reducing production, and lowering revenue collection for the nation.”

The APC further stated that the president should sell off some subsidiaries of NNPC, discard the PIB and replace it with a new Bill that’s based on discussions with international oil companies to ensure all perspectives are adequately considered.

Kayode Fayemi, APC’s policy director, confirmed the authenticity of the document, noting, however, that the report is not the final position of the government.

The report advised the Presidency to cancel, within its first 100 days in office two ill-suited and costly offshore processing agreements that were signed in the fourth quarter with Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Limited and Sahara Group of 90,000 barrels per day each.

It called on the government to sign simpler swap agreements with highly competent trading companies through a tender process.

The APC report recomm- ended a review of audits and corruption allegations against the NNPC, within the first 100 days of the administration, adding that after 18 months, the government should seek to commercialize the NNPC, possibly partially listing the entity and selling off its fuel-retailing and refining business.

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