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Pipeline Venture: NNPC Challenges PLAN during NIPITECS 2018

NNPC issues Challenge to during NIPITECS 2018 Conference

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged 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 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. Firms need to seek quicker, better, cheaper and more effective ways to achieve the feat.

“The poser I would 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 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.

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.

PLAN’s Response

Earlier, Engr 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, Engr Chidi Izuwah, the Acting Director General of 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)

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