The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged the Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to proffer solutions that could lead to a dramatic change and expansion of pipeline business in Nigeria.
Dr. Maikanti Baru,NNPC Group Managing Director challenged the association while Delivering Keynote address at the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2018) on Tuesday, in Abuja.
According to a statement by its spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, he said that such solution must be able to resolve the challenge which has hindered the growth and viability of pipeline venture in the country.
He explained that emphasis should not be on what had been done in the past but to seek quicker, better, cheaper and more effective ways of how things should be done to achieve the feat.
‘’The poser I will like the conference to address is: Is cost really an inhibitor or is it the security challenges or financial models that are not properly structured and above all how do we make the pipeline business a financially viable investment?
“How do we build partnership with the required technical expertise to assemble new technology based-industries that are cheap to operate and can deliver products that are both locally and internationally marketable?” he said
He also wondered if Nigeria had a financially capable environment that could provide funds at rates that would be competitive and low enough to produce adequate returns.
He averred that the answer to these posers would enable NNPC restructure and develop policies that would encourage infrastructure development in the country.
He further noted the reason the corporation had resorted to contractor-financing of its pipeline was to get around the prevalent funding challenge in the country
He added that it would enabled the corporation to aggressively build the pipeline infrastructure within the Gas Master Plan as exemplified in the recent award of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and all ongoing downstream pipeline infrastructure rehabilitation effort.
Earlier, Mr Geoff Onuoha, Chairman of PLAN, expressed delight at the high level of support accorded the association by the NNPC management.
He assured that the pipeline professionals would not only pick up the gauntlet and tackle the challenge posed to the group by the NNPC GMD, but would continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure the in-country viability of pipeline business.
Also, Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Acting Director General Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission ICRC, commended the NNPC Management for embracing the contractor-financing model in the AKK project, noting that such an option should be replicated wholesomely in respect of other mega industry projects.(NAN)