The revelation of a rebound in Nigeria’s daily oil production above one million barrels per day (BPD) is quite a laudable achievement.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), this is the first time since July this year that Nigeria has crossed that mark. And it is a culmination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at making the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) more effective.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that it also shows that the NNPCL leadership is prepared to live up to expectations in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
“It is instructive that the last time Nigeria’s crude oil production output averaged more than one million BPD was in July when production recorded at the time stood at 1,083,899bpd.
“That was about the same time that President Buhari officially unveiled the NNPC Ltd to enable it to run effectively and compete with its peers across the world.
“It was also a time that crude theft had become a big industry that was causing the country to lose about 700,000 barrels a day, partly due to the activities of oil thieves and a shutdown of vandalised pipelines.
“There is no doubt that the decision to engage private security contractors to complement the efforts of regular security agencies has proved to be the game changer, especially against the background of startling discoveries, including the illegal 4-kilometer pipeline from Forcados terminal to the sea, and a loading port which NNPCL said had operated undetected in the last 9 years.
The group added that there is no doubt that on President Buhari’s watch, NNPCL will remain on the path of profitability once the issue of crude oil theft is dealt with.
“It is worth repeating that it was in the Buhari years that NNPCL recorded its first profit, after tax, in over 40 years.
“The national oil company had consistently recorded losses in its statement of accounts until 2020 when it recorded a profit of N287bn, in spite of COVID-19 and the attendant lockdown.
“It has since built on that by recording a profit after tax of N674bn for the year 2021.
“We also want to add that NNPCL has, since 2018, opened its account for public scrutiny a few years after the group, in a Peoples Democratic Party PDP-era, had said it was not possible to make the company’s books public.”
BMO added that the Mele Kyari-led management of NNPCL deserved credit for living up to the expectations of the Buhari administration.