The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on its transparent pipeline contract and biding processes for the rehabilitation of critical downstream infrastructures.
It explained that commendation became imperative after the national oil company leadership ensure a transparent bid opening processes for the rehabilitation of pipelines and its critical downstream infrastructure, a process it claimed, showed things can be done differently that would yield value for Nigerians.
The Director General, ICRC, Engr. Chidi Izurah, said that it was interesting that the novel NNPC virtual public bid-opening exercise was in line with the ICRC infrastructure revolution drive in line with President Muhammadu Buhari-led transparency initiative.
Through a statement by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, Izurah maintained the corporation’s renewed transparency drive would further position the country as true representative of its stakeholders who are the Nigerian people.
“You showed to the world that you’re driving a totally transparent Public Private Partnership process in line with the infrastructure revolution of President Muhammadu Buhari. Today’s public bid opening for the rehabilitation of NNPC pipelines,depots/terminal infrastructure is quite commendable.
“I commend the GMD Mallam Mele Kyari, his team and the NNPC Group for showing to the world that things can be done properly and in the best interest of the shareholders,” Engr. Izurah was quoted as saying.
In his opening remarks, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, stated that the exercise was in fulfilment of corporation’s commitment to transparency and accountability as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) partner company and as directed by President Buhari that all its operations must be guided by integrity.
“This is not possible to achieve if we do not have the leadership disposition that is in support of transparency. I can confirm to all of you that it is the clear directive of Mr. President that this company must be accountable and must be transparent to its shareholders.
We must take all necessary steps to make sure that our transactions are known to the citizens of this country, that we do things for the common good of all of us and that in doing our business, we must ensure integrity. Nobody will cut corners, nobody will cheat the shareholders of this company and also this company will ultimately deliver value to its shareholders,” Mallam Kyari stated.
He noted that the Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model became imperative in the corporation’s journey to rehabilitate its downstream infrastructure which over time have become vulnerable, lost value and integrity due to age and incessant vandalism.
“Some of these assets are as old as forty years (40) years and they are due for replacement and when you want to do a replacement of this scale, you do need a lot of resources. And we know that we require these assets so we decided that we bring in private partners who will fund these pipelines, they will construct it, they will operate it with us and then ultimately they will fully recover their investment from the tariff which we will pay for using these pipelines and as soon as they recover their cost and their margin, they will hand over these assets back to us,” he added.
Kyari averred that by the end of the first quarter of 2021, the final partners of the bid opening would be selected while assuring bidders that the NIPEX portal which was deployed for the pre-qualification exercise was time tested technology that would not give room for any human indiscretion.
Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Lawrencia Ndupu, who was represented by the Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, Musa Lawan, said the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) operates 5,120 length of pipelines which traverses the entire country with two coastal depots in Lagos and Calabar assuring that the public bid opening processes is being done transparently.
No fewer than seventy eight (78) companies submitted virtual bids to rehabilitate critical downstream pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure of the NNPC through the Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT).