The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not been unbundled.
Addressing reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held on Wednesday, the Minister said the corporation was only being reorganised.
He said NNPC had five business entities – upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power – with focus on business and that they were there before.
“We did not unbundle NNPC. The NNPC is still a whole, but there are companies that were not having proper stewardship.
“They are run by individuals who report to the Group Managing Director and therefore needed to be looked at,” he said.
Dr. Kachikwu admitted that the engagement, “perhaps has not been good enough”, promising to discuss with stakeholders and resolve the issues.
He said he was concerned that the industry had been shut down, assuring reporters that the issues would be resolved.
He had on Tuesday announced the creation of seven sub-divisions which the NNPC would be broken into in the coming days.
Dr. Kachikwu said that the NNPC would not be unbundled into 30 subsidiaries as reported in the media, but will rather be broken into upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power, ventures, finance and corporate services.
Dr. Kachikwu’s statement is aimed at addressing issues that had started after media reports quoted him to have said that the NNPC would be unbundled.
In reaction to the purported statement, the National Union Of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) asked their members at various refineries in the nation to down tools.
In compliance, Port Harcourt Refinery and all NNPC facilities in Rivers State have been shut down.
The unions said there were not just concerned about the purported unbundling process which lacked due process, but other labour matters that needed the attention of the Federal Government.
Also in response to the purported unbundling, the House of Representatives has also mandated a joint committee of the House to prevent the Minister from usurping the powers of the legislature by attempting to unbundle the NNPC without legislative approval.
The motion, sponsored by Honourable Agom Jarigbe, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to send an executive bill to the National Assembly if he intended to unbundle the NNPC or carry out any fundamental reforms in the oil and gas sector.