By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says 78 companies will bid for the rehabilitation of oil pipelines and depot infrastructure across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that over 300 companies applied through the official portal published in the national dailies on Aug. 7 and only 78 companies met the expiration time of noon on Sept. 18.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, at the virtual public bid opening for the rehabilitation of the NNPC group downstream critical pipelines and associated depots/terminal infrastructure on Friday in Abuja, said the corporation was committed to transparency.
Kyari said that the process of selection of companies would be transparent and those who would win the bid would undergo a process of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the corporation to ensure transparency and accountability in all its operations.
He said that this would help the NNPC to deliver its services to all stakeholders efficiently, especially to the ordinary Nigerians, adding that the management of the corporation had aligned to the order.
The GMD said that it was unfortunate that the oil pipelines deteriorated over the years with activities of hoodlums and vandals, forcing its to be underutilised. .
He assured that the technology that would not be compromised by vandals would be deployed by the selected companies for the rehabilitation.
“You know that this project requires huge finances that is why we are adopting BOT, pipelines globally are managed by the private sector. What we are doing today is in line with global best practices.
“The NNPC is challenged because of resources constraints; today, we do not have all the resources required to reform this asset which has become so vulnerable and have lost their values and integrity over the time.
“Some of them are as old as 40 years, they are due for replacement and when you want to do replacement of this scale, we do need a lot of resources, which we don’t have.
“We have decided that we will bring in private partners who will rehabilitate the pipelines, they will fund it, they will operate it with us and ultimately, they will recover their investment from tariff on the pipelines.
“As soon as they recover their costs, earn their margins, they will hand over to the country, that is what we want to do,” he said.
Kyari said that the selected companies would have maximum of two years to deliver on the project, adding that by first quarter of 2021, the names of selected companies would be announced.
In his remarks, Mr Musa Lawal, the representative of the NNPC downstream, said that the corporation operated about 5,120km pipelines across the country.
He said that most of the companies had been inactive due to vandalism and activities of hoodlums on the lines, adding that it had also led to crude oil and revenue loss to the country.
He assured that the process of selection would be transparent as stakeholders were invited as observers to monitor the process.
“NNPC as an IETI company will continue to ensure accountability and transparency in line with this; we have virtually invited other partners as observers.
“We have Infrastructure Concession Regulations Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), among others as our observers,” he said.
The Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah commended the corporation for its efforts to adopting proper Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure rehabilitation in the country.
“This means that things can be done better in the country, we are happy with the show of interest in PPP, ICRC that will ensure that this project is carried out in a credible manner for Nigeria to see its benefits,” he said. (NAN)