OilLess than four months after the new management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, assumed office, the corporation yesterday conducted second public opening of bids tendered by Nigerian and multi-national companies competing for the award of sale and purchase of crude oil grades at Abuja.
278 bids were submitted by indigenous and foreign firms seeking to secure contract for the sale and purchase of the 26 Nigerian crude oil grades on offer.
The exercise which was broadcast live on national television and conducted in the full glare of representatives of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, executives of the bidding companies and other crucial oil and gas industry stakeholders comes as a swift departure from the previous award exercises which were conducted without public participation.
Speaking during the ceremony, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, explained that the emphasise of the open bid promoted by the corporation is to do things differently by ensuring that the tenets of transparency, efficiency is promoted in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda for the oil and gas industry.
According to him, “the Corporation has taken the pain to make the process leading up to the award open to public scrutiny to demonstrate before all members of the public that NNPC has nothing to hide.
“The essence is to ensure that nobody needs to call me personally as Ibe Kachikwu for him to get crude allocation. So, you can imagine the burden it takes off my shoulders. It means a good amount of my time will now go into other relevant areas of operation where the country needs me most, ’’ Kachikwu said.
Throwing more light on the process, Mallam Mele Kyari, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC, informed that with the new measure put in place, the incidence of brief case companies and hawking of Nigerian crude would become a thing of the past.
Representative of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR Mrs. Folashade Odunuga commended NNPC for the transparent manner it conducted the bid process noting that as the regulator of the industry, the DPR is impressed with the new wave of transparency sweeping across the value chain of the Corporation.
Also, the Group Executive Director, Commercial & Investment, Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran said that the higher demand in the oil than supply calls for seriousness in meeting up with the market. He reiterated the ongoing transformations in NNPC as the bedrock of transparent bid exercise.
Commenting on the exercise, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative NEITI Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed commended the NNPC for the giant step taken towards transparency and accountability.
As part of the pre-qualification requirements, interested companies are expected to demonstrate the possession of minimum annual turnover of USD 750 million and net worth of at least USD 300 million, ability to establish an irrevocable Letter of Credit for the payment of any allocated Crude Oil subject to the contract terms as well as the ability to pay an initial deposit of USD 2.5million representing the first lifting deposit upon signing of the contract agreement among other requirements.
The 26 grade of Nigerian Crude Oil on offer include: Bonny Light, Forcados Blend, EA Blend, Bonga, Qua Iboe Light, Yoho Blend, Erha and Escravos Light. Others are; Pennington Light, Agbami, Brass Blend, Abo, Oyo, Okono Blend, Amenam Blend, Akpo Condensate and Usan. The rest include: Atam Blend, Okwori, Okoro, Ima, Ukpokiti, Obe, Okwuibome, Ebok and Asaratoru

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