• en

Nigeria: Independent Petroleum Marketers Query NNPC on Kolmani Oil Project

IPMAN wants NNPC to explain how funds for drilling oil at the Kolmani River between Bauchi and Gombe were expended.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has stressed the need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to explain to Nigerians how funds deployed for the drilling of oil at the Kolmani River between Bauchi and Gombe states were expended.

The Principal Consultant to IPMAN, Mr. Maurice Ibe made the call Wednesday night while featuring on the Prime Time, a programme on Arise News Channel.

He also joined other enthusiastic Nigerians in welcoming the eventual supplying of diesel and jet-fuel to the local market, but cautioned that the impact of the supplies would not be felt by the citizens until after some days.

Responding to a question on the seeming abandonment of the Kolmani drilling project 16 months after former President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the project with a lot of fanfare and publicity, Ibe said NNPC was the right authority to provide information on what happened in the project.

The Kolmani River Field, located in-between Bauchi and Gombe States in the Upper Benue trough, had been estimated to hold about 1 billion barrels crude oil reserve and 500 billion cubic feet of gas deposit.

Also, the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, which had reportedly attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of about $3 billion, was designed to house a 120,000-barrels per day refinery, a 500-million standard cubic feet per day gas processing plant, a 300-megawatt capacity power plant, and a fertiliser plant of 2,500 tons per day.

NNPC is the developer of the field in partnership with the Northern Nigeria Development Company Limited (NNDC), a company owned by the 19 northern states, and the asset operator, Sterling Global, a Nigerian affiliate of the Indian Sandesara Group.

According to the IPMAN consultant, many of the members of the association had argued for and against the drilling campaign in Kolmani, adding that some people think it was a waste of resources.

Ibe maintained that a lot of money had been spent in the process, noting that NNPC needed to tell the country everything concerning the drilling campaign.

He said: “Honestly, I will try not to delve into that issue. It’s actually within the realm of NNPC. The are better informed, they have the data, they have the feasibility, they are the one supervising that project. So, I will not want to delve into discussing that issue in Bauchi.

“A lot of members have argued for and against it. Some think it’s a waste of resources, others think that it was good to explore. So I would stay neutral on that. I think NNPC would be the better people to speak on what is happening with.

“Frankly, there is a lot that meets the eye, but we don’t have all the information. We are not on the ground. A lot of money has been spent.

“A lot of money has been abused in that process, and what we are saying is that NNPC needs to tell the country what is happening, what has happened, how the resources have been deployed and what has been achieved.

“If it is a total waste of resources, the country needs to know and somebody needs to account for it. But for now, nobody so far is saying anything,” he stressed.

However, speaking on the supply of products to the generality of filling  stations in Nigeria by Dangote Refinery, Ibe described it as a welcome development, but  cautioned that the actual impact on the market would not be felt immediately.

“However, the impact will not be felt fully probably till the next couple of days. The trucks that are trucking this products are making their way to various sections of the country. So, the actual impact of the move by Dangote Refinery will not be fully felt by our members and also by the generality of Nigerians till the next couple of days.

“So, I wouldn’t want to precipitate and answer in terms of the impacts, but let’s wait a little bit and see what happens,” he stated.

He said IPMAN had been at the forefront in advocating that the public refineries be made functional.

He said several refineries in the country have been virtually comatose for many years and billions of dollars spent on them without the refineries being able to produce a single litre of petroleum products.

He noted that the key to solving Nigeria’s problem was the effective functioning of the idle refineries.

“The government must do more, pressure more on those currently servicing this refineries to get them functional. Dangote is doing his best. We really applaud him for what he has done.

“But the country still can’t and will not feel the effect of Dangote Refinery for now because if you look at the price at the pump, PMS is still N680, N660 in some places, some parts of the country are selling at N700 per litre”, Ibe argued.

He said IPMAN is currently talking to some investors to build their own modular refineries, stating that the answer to Nigeria ‘s problem is not  having just one or two refineries, but having small refineries spread all over the country.

Peter Uzoho

Follow us on: