Managing Director of the World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati has expressed readiness of the body to offer the Ministry of Petroleum Resources technical support in the ongoing reforms introduced by the federal government since the inception of the present administration.
Indrawati made this known when she paid an official visit to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in his office in Abuja yesterday.
She said the 20 fixes introduced by Dr. Kachikwu to the NNPC business models had gone a long way to reform the corporation for profitability.
The bank also commended the federal government for bringing transparency and accountability to bear on the operations of the NNPC and the entire oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
She, however, stressed that funding and sound policy thrust was key in the areas of fiscal direction, gas flare out and gas to power.
In his response, Dr. Kachikwu, who doubles as group managing director of the NNPC, said since assumption of duty in August last year, a lot of reforms ranging from the first phase of restructuring and the recent restructuring had served as enablers for the introduction of new business models that had drastically reduced the losses recorded by the NNPC in the past.
According to him, “We first started with the softer issues which were transparency issues, governance, restructuring and that was going well when we went straight into the business model. For example when we came in, the NNPC was recording huge losses and we have been able to reverse that trend and if we continue with that sort of trajectory then we should be able to record profit in the near future.”
He stated that a lot of institutional framework such as restructuring was still ongoing in all the parastatals under his watch.
“Infrastructure is the toughest gap as a lot of depots and pipelines need urgent attention and you need infrastructure, be it in the upstream and downstream sector, for you to deliver results but we will continue to throw solutions at them and try to get private sector participation,” the minister stated.
“The other tough gap is the funding. Just sheer funding of the upstream Joint Venture cash calls demands a lot of money and we are not pretending about. Again, the President has travelled from point to point and a lot of people have offered to support,” he further said.
The minister solicited the support of the World Bank in the area of institutional framework and training for the Petroleum Ministry and the NNPC, saying that the training would provide the necessary skill sets that were required to grow the oil and gas industry in the country.

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