By FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja
The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru has described the Forbes’ Africa Oil & Gas Man of the Year 2017 award conferred on him as a national recognition, stressing that it not only special to him, but to all Nigerians.
Baru who was in London to receive the award used the opportunity to call on foreign investors to partner with the Corporation in its multi-billion dollar projects expected to come up in the New Year.
According a press statement issued by the Corporation’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, the GMD said the award came to him as a big surprise, owing to the fact that the scope of the nomination represents a huge selection of highly qualified professionals across Africa.
“This award is so special to me. It is an award to Nigeria which fills me with immense national pride. It also reinforces the long-established and far-reaching impact of the NNPC in national, regional and global economic growth and stability,” Baru stated.
Using the forum to woo investors, Baru was quoted to have said the Corporation would be involved in a number of projects which would require international collaboration next year.
“Our programme for 2018 is very aggressive and will require cooperation from the international community in supporting our activities through technical and financial collaboration,” he stated.
According to the Ughamadu, the GMD listed some of the mega projects that would be launched in the coming year to include: Bonga SW/Aparo; Zaba-zaba; Bosi; the seven critical gas projects and gas pipelines; NLNG Train seven plus expansion; possible divestment of Government Equity in JV and development of modular refineries amongst others.
“Today, the confidence of investors is being restored, thanks to good governance provided by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. I therefore call on you all to utilize this golden opportunity made possible by our supportive president.”
Dr. Baru averred that international collaboration between the NNPC and its partners was fast yielding results, adding that within the last three years, NNPC had secured about $3.7bn alternative financing agreements aimed at sustaining and increasing the national daily production.
He said the alternative financing approach had yielded positive results and helped to renew investors’ confidence, resulting in a boost in Foreign Direct Investments in Nigeria.
The NNPC boss observed that the financing arrangement had also deepened the participation of local banks in funding the Upstream Sector as the funds were syndicated from both local and International banks as well as lenders.
He commended the local and international lenders and the Joint Venture partners for their continued faith in Nigeria and their support towards providing the funding.
While conferring the award on the GMD, a representative of Forbes, Mr. Mark Furlong, said his institution was celebrating an embodiment of hardwork, integrity and intelligence who was making giant strides in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and beyond.
“Dr. Baru is admired and celebrated nationwide and internationally. He is a credible and courageous man with high moral virtue. His broad knowledge and positive leadership style are worthy of emulation,” Furlong added.