KADUNA State governor, Nasir ElRufai at the weekend said political interference in the past was responsible for the backwardness and low growth of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The governor stated this when he received the group managing director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Bagu and his management team at the Government House, Kaduna, at the weekend. El-Rufai lauded the NNPC new leadership for increasing the monthly remittance to the federation account and blocking the siphoning of Nigeria’s money with the corporation’s account. He said the state governors were now happier with the increased remittance by the corporation to the federation accounts. El-Rufai expressed delight with the turnaround of the corporation under the new leadership, noting that the remittances to the federation account from NNPC had increased, enabling the state governments to receive higher allocations while huge amount of money that usually disappeared from its account had stopped. According to the governor, the proposed gas pipeline from AjaokutaAbuja-Kaduna to Kano would help energise the 215mw Kudende power plant and power a proposed fertiliser company to be sited in Kaduna State. “NNPC is on the right track. I’m not impressed with the NNPC of the past because of the amount of money belonging to Nigeria that had disappeared using NNPC as conduit to short-change the federation. “But now things have been good, the remittance to federation account are higher so state governors are happier. I hope the progress we have seen would continue under your watch. We want an NNPC greater than the other oil companies of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil because in the past, political interference has dragged NNPC backwards.” On the operations of NNPC in Kaduna State, Governor El-Rufai urged immediate commencement of work on the three new NNPC retail outlets in the state while assuring the corporation that his administration would take instant action on the challenges of encroachment on its pipelines rights of way and vandalism of its pipelines by some residents in the state. “As soon as we get a letter from KRPC on the pipelines right of way, we will handle it. We will try to get a few of the vandals and treat them as criminals. We are making plans to de-silt River Kaduna so that we don’t lose the river completely. You will see better quality water and less need to treat it with time. “I’m happy to hear about the AbujaKano gas pipeline, we are in discussion with a fertilizer company ready to start the largest fertilizer company in Nigeria in Kaduna but they want to see a gas pipeline get to Kaduna first. The 215mw power plant in Kaduna can use diesel, crude oil, LNG, we are committed to do whatever Greenfield requested to enable it work.” In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Dr Bagu expressed appreciation over Kaduna State government interventions in addressing issues that affect the corporation and its subsidiaries. “Interventions on the petrol tanker drivers, youth restiveness and the support of Kaduna state in various collaborations to safeguard our various facilities, our personnel, the refinery and depot. Kaduna is very important to oil and gas, as it houses KRPC, NNPC zonal office and College of Petroleum Resources, which we want to start operation by January 1, 2017. “At the moment, KRPC is the only crude oil refinery in the nation that supplies petroleum products to the North and to Kaduna, it has been breached severally and the operation has been epileptic. The capacity utilisation now is about 60 percent but we are working hard to restore the capacity of the pipeline. “We are taking evaluation of building pipeline over thousands kilometers from Agadir in Niger Republic to Kaduna to supply Kaduna refinery with crude oil, we have started discussion with the Nigerien minister of petroleum and the Chinese companies that are operating in the area. The Ajaokuta – Abuja – Kaduna – Kano gas pipeline and the Abuja -Kaduna – Kano pipeline under tender will help resuscitate the textile industry in Kaduna state,” the NNPC GMD said.