By Chineme Okafor
Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has stated that it will embark on a comprehensive audit of the over 5, 000 kilometres of its petroleum products and crude oil pipelines to ascertain their integrity levels.
The corporation said this in a statement by the Managing Director of its subsidiary, Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company (NPSC), Mr. Luke Anele.
Anele, according to the statement, signed by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the integrity test plans had been approved by the corporation’s board and would be executed by the National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), an upstream subsidiary of the NNPC.
“It covers the conduct of integrity test on crude pipelines, the products pipelines and our depots, with special emphasis on refinery attached depots and refinery evacuation lines,” said Anele in the statement.
Anele noted that the outcome of the project would help the NPSC to take informed decisions on the appropriate strategies it would adopt in the planned Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement for the pipelines.
He explained the audited backlog has since been formally approved by NNPC board in line with extant laws governing its operations, adding that its conclusion would foster better relations with its stakeholders, in addition to promoting transparency and accountability in its works.
He noted that the current management at the corporation inherited 65 unaudited financial statements of the corporation, covering 2011 and 2014.
“There were, undoubtedly, challenges that led to the backlog which may have been beyond the control of the previous managements. However, the important factor was not to look to the past. We saw an opportunity to challenge the problem and resolved to clear the arrears in the shortest possible time,” said AbdulRazaq.
NNPC has also unveiled plans to partner Osun State to build a state-of-the-art retail filling station that could improve the supply and distribution of petroleum products in Osun and its environs.
“Our strategy for the NNPC Retail is to capture as much of the downstream retail market in the country as possible. A state like Osun is very central to our expansion drive. Having looked at the possibilities, we are committed to taking the discussions further. We have reached an advanced stage in our discussions. Next week, we are expected to further discussions on commercial terms of offer with the state government’s team,” Baru said.
He said the partnership would expand the downstream fuel distribution and retail in the state and ensure adequate products availability in the state.
Baru added that over the years, NNPC has enjoyed tremendous support from Osun State as a neighbouring state that hosts its System 2B pipeline segments which connects its Mosimi depot with Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin depots.
“I am happy to inform you that over the years, we hardly record any incident of pipeline vandalism or security breach along our System 2B pipeline network that cuts across Osun state. This is attributable to the efforts of the state government and the law-abiding people of the state,” Baru added.