Friday, August 31, 2007

Watch this space...


"Industry Players Differ On Scrapping of NNPC" - allAfrica.com
"Nigerians abroad plan mega firm to run refineries, power plants" - Guardian Newspaper

There seems to be a lot happening on the Oil & Gas scene in Nigeria this week...


Reactions yesterday greeted Thursday's approval by the Federal Government for the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into five new organizations as industry players differ on what will be the place of the corporation between now and six month's time when the new policy will take effect.

However, the President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has described it as a welcome development, noting that it will make the oil companies autonomous and quickens decision making.

But his National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) counterpart, Mr. Peter Akpattason, has called for further clarification on the whole issue in view of the fact that the law setting up the NNPC is yet to repealed.

He argued that it was controversial for the federal government to effect the changes based on a new law in place, when the old one has not been repealed.

Some believe this exercise will "take Nigeria nowhere because it will worsen the bureaucratic process in the industry" (former President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Mr. Austin Avuru). Others believe that "commercialization of NNPC's activities will translate into more investments, more innovations and more profit" (Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, Public Affairs Division of NNPC).

Meanwhile...


NIGERIAN professionals abroad have offered to work with the Federal Government to realize its goal of a viable oil and gas and energy sector.

For a start, they have proposed to float a public quoted company with global outreach to set up 24 refineries and generate 50,000 megawatts into the national grid.

The professionals, who operate under Nigerians for Super Energy based in Houston, United States (U.S.) said that the country needed about $29 billion to have a functioning energy sector.

They suggested that the government should provide $15 billion of the funds while Super Energy and its partners would source for the balance.

Apart from working with the government to realize the twin-goals, the experts are collaborating with the National Union of Petrol and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to ensure that the local people fully participate in the project.

-------
This seems like an extraordinary initiative these "Super Energy" folks are undertaking, an effective way for Nigerians in the Diaspora to make hands-on change in the oil industry. It would be nice to know a bit more about what they stand for and who exactly these individuals are, as we wouldn't want a situation where they end up simply being a front for the naija "big players" under the guise of being well-meaning Diasporans (i hate that term but couldn't think of anything else). Thoughts pls.

51 comments:

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I was just reading about this on BBC. I am unsure how to feel. I think I will take some time to educate myself before I coe to any conclusions. I am all for improving the oil sector but worry that any changes made must not be superficial....

Misan said...

i know, it's definitely sth i need to get the skinny on, but there isn't much on who exactly these diasporans are. i found a bit more at http://www.nigerianmuse.com/articles/?u=Stakeholders_of_Nigerias_Energy_Rise.htm
but not sure if it's open to just any random nigerian in the diaspora who has money to invest.

ooa said...

I read the proposed plan by Mr. Joseph Inyang on behalf of the super energy folks. He makes I good points but the proposal is lacking a big idea. I didn't notice a huge difference between their plans and those of the current and past governments. Well there was the suggestion that every able Nigerian be "drafted" to work at a refinery and the comparison of the energy crisis to the AIDS crisis. Besides those there was really nothing ground breaking about his plan. Also a group who can't name its members or state their qualifications is not one I would be excited about engaging.

Breaking down NNPC into smaller parts seems like a step in the right direction. Each smaller unit is now autonomous and should more efficient and less prone to corruption. The biggest problem the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry faces isn't a lack of direction, it's corruption and interference by outside elements who want to profit at the expense of a broken and malfunctioning organization. The new energy council set up by the President has as part of its membership highly regarded professionals who have valuable industry experience, I'm sure they will come up with a excellent strategy on the way forward for the energy industry in Nigeria. I just hope they are smart enough to also come up with an equally brilliant strategy for keeping the vultures away.

Misan said...

@ OOA: I definitely agree that it's a bit sketchy how the members of this group haven't been named...to be honest, it read a bit like a 419 letter, though i know better. These plans seem so grandiose, like you said, it would be nice to see some more specific details, but i guess as a proposal, it just had to cover surface-level issues about their plans. i sometimes wonder why we don't have referendums (referanda?) on issues like this, where the common man can have his vote heard...i guess that's what the Senate and House of Reps is for? and then again, we couldn't pull off a presidential election without shutting down the country for weeks so i guess the infrastructure for such activities is lacking and won't be revamped anytime soon.

As for the corruption, i read an interesting (rather funny) discussion on BBC Africa the other day (titled "would you blow the whistle on corruption"), check it out: http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?threadID=7214&&&edition=2&ttl=20070907090051

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