Last weekend, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company [Limited] conducted the finals laps of the take-over of erstwhile state Corporation
NNPC Ltd took over after attaining legal requirements within the stipulated 18 months in line with section 54 (3) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and the corporation transitioned into a company whose operations will be regulated by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
The journey started in July last year when President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, a landmark development that officially changed the oil firm from a wholly state-run entity to a commercial oil company, limited by shares.
The legal transition, based on the new Petroleum Industry Act, took effect July 1. The NNPC completed its incorporation in September 2021 weeks after the PIA was signed into law by Mr. President.
The NNPC Limited was then floated with an initial capital of N200 billion making history as the company with the highest share capital in Nigeria.
The new entity became a commercial and profit-driven petroleum company, competing like any other independent oil firm for opportunities in the sector.
Speaking at the brief ceremony held in Abuja, minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, noted that with the reforms introduced by the federal government, NNPCL is expected to be a competitive and commercially oriented company.
“To get to this desired end, deliberate effort must be made to implement the law in a manner that best achieves the stated objectives in line with the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians whose lives will be impacted by the consequences of our decisions and actions.
“As part of the commitment to achieve a viable National Energy Company, the PIA put a long stop date of 18 months from the effective date of the Act as the timeline within which full transfer of assets, interest and liabilities must be completed,” Mr Sylva said.
He added that the PIA empowered NNPC Limited to operate like every private company in Nigeria with exemption from the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Public Procurement Act and TSA in order to ensure there are no excuses for failure.
“In return for this empowerment, the PIA expects a strong commercially oriented National Energy company with an obligation to operate profitably and deliver dividends to shareholders.
By Ken Okoye