MINISTER of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that Nigeria’s crude oil production has risen to 1.9 million barrels daily. Kachikwu who made the disclosure during a hand over ceremony to the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru in Abuja on Friday. He said the upstream sector of the oil industry was being repositioned to attain about three million barrels per day. The minister, who expressed satisfaction at the performance of NNPC under his leadership, said the corporation has been positioned as a profit focus organisation. While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve as both the Minister of State Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of NNPC, he noted that public perception of NNPC was
gradually changing. On the upstream operation, he said: “JV cash call funding has been one major challenge and we have created jointly a process of covering that gap and paying the arrears of over $6billion and we are on threshold of finalising that. I think we should be almost at the point of sign-off in the next one week and I have told him (Baru) that I will complete that process and hand out over to them for execution. “That will fundamentally change the upstream, it will enable upstream find the funding that it needs, when it needs it and it will remove the delays you had in terms of getting upstream development and hopefully it will inject the 100 percent performance in upstream and hopefully increase your barrels from present 2.3million to 3 million in the next two years”, he said. The minister noted that NNPC in the last two months has been able to pay its contributions to the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, by 100 percent up from about 60-70 percent when he came on board. He described the N217 million profit made by NNPC in its May operations as massive achievement given that when he took over the corporation’s losses were in excess of N150 billion. He restated the commitment that “by 2018, 60 per cent of refined products importation will stop and by 2019 we must become a net exporter of refined petroleum products”. Kachikwu who called for support for the new NNPC helmsman, stated that a massive restructuring of the corporation has taken place and the gains should be sustained. “Even when he appointed me Minister of State sometime in September, despite all the pressures that he had to quite frankly decouple both positions, understandably, he remained steadfast in feeling that process should run a course to a point where it is comfortable to decouple it. I think we have gotten to that point and I thank him for that opportunity

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