Meet “NNPC”, Nigeria’s Real Oil Baron

September 10, 2021

On Thursday August 26, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari declared in a statement that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) made a profit of ₦287 billion in 2020. 

The President claimed that it was the first time the NNPC was declaring a profit since it was established on April 1, 1977.

While there are reports that the President’s claim is false, it doesn’t take away the fact that the NNPC itself is a very important corporation ― that made a ton of money in 2020.

How NNPC Works

The NNPC is responsible for carrying out commercial activities in oil and gas in Nigeria for the government of Nigeria. This is according to the preamble of the NNPC Act of 1990.

This means that the NNPC looks for crude oil, refines crude oil, buys and sells petroleum and other petroleum products, operates pipelines for the transportation of natural gas and does all other activities related to oil and gas in Nigeria, for the government of Nigeria.

Basically, the NNPC is Nigeria’s oil company.

NNPC Leadership 

Currently, The NNPC’s Group Managing Director is Mallam Mele Kyari. He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 7, 2019.

Mr Mele Kyari replaced Maikanti Baru as NNPC GMD. Maikanti Baru served as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC from July 2016 to July 2019. 

NNPC’s Group Executive Director for exploring crude oil or “upstream” activities is Adokiye Tombomeiye. The Group Executive Director for Gas and Power is AbdulKabir M. Ahmed and the Group Executive Director for petroleum refining is Mustapha Y. Yakubu.

The NNPC Group Executive Director for selling petroleum products or “downstream” activities is Adeyemi Adetunji, and the Group Executive Director for Finance and Accounts is Umar I. Ajiya. 

Aisha Ahmadu Katagum is the NNPC’s Group Executive Director for Corporate Services and Hadiza Y. Coomasie is the NNPC’s Secretary and Legal Adviser.

You can read more about the management of the NNPC here.

Financial Accounts of the NNPC

Since 1977, the NNPC has been inconsistent with opening its account and disclosing whether it was making a profit or not. It wasn’t until October 2015 that the corporation announced that it would commit to making its financial account public.

Since then, we’ve been privy to information like the NNPC’s ₦308 billion loss in 2018 and ₦1.7 billion loss in 2019.

You can read more about the NNPC’s audited account of 2020 here.

“NNPC Limited”

On August 20, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a new Petroleum Industry Act that will regulate oil and gas operations in Nigeria.

Under this new act, the NNPC will be replaced by “NNPC Limited”. NNPC Limited must make a profit and its shares can be sold to Nigerians through an open and transparent process ― like at the Nigerian stock exchange.

With this new law, the NNPC should perform better, and it should start declaring profits as a company engaging in oil and gas activities on behalf of Nigeria.

But things may just remain the same. After all, this is Nigeria.

Doyin Olagunju

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