By Yetunde Bada
Abuja – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on the latter’s exploratory activities in inland basins.
PENGASSAN National President Mr Francis Johnson made the commendation on Tuesday in Abuja when he led the union’s Central Working Committee (CWC) on a courtesy visit to the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru.
In a statement by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC Group General Manager Public Affairs Division, Johnson expressed he hope that the exploration would benefit the nation ultimately and prayed for a breakthrough in the corporation’s exploratory efforts.
The NNPC recently embarked on exploratory operations in the nation’s frontier basins of the Chad Basin and Benue Trough.
The move is in line with the aspiration of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to increase the reserve base of the country.
Johnson also expressed confidence that NNPC was capable of returning the refineries to profitability.
”PENGASSAN will support any effective, efficient and sustainable model that can make the refineries viable,” Johnson said.
He, however, urged Baru to intensify effort in the ongoing rehabilitation of the downstream facilities, especially the depots, pipelines, tank farms and jetties to further ensure seamless supply of products across the country.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the PENGASSAN president emphasised the need for its speedy passage.
He said that the unions were ready to collaborate with the National Assembly to resolve knotty issues associated with the bill.
Responding, Baru disclosed that the President had mandated him and the NNPC management to bring back the refineries to their glorious days.
He thanked the unions for their belief in his capability to deliver on that mandate.
The NNPC boss, who said funding remained a major challenge in the rehabilitation of the refineries, however, expressed optimism that the various options being explored would yield positive results.
He expressed appreciation to the unions for supporting the effort to move the petroleum industry forward and lauded its pragmatic approach to handling issues, a development he noted had brought about industrial harmony.
Baru, since assumption of office in 2016, had drummed up support for the exploration activities with critical stakeholders in Bauchi, Borno, Sokoto and Nassarawa states.
In Nasarawa State recently, he disclosed that NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services (FES), had mobilised the Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL) to acquire seismic data in the Benue Trough commencing from the Keana area.
IDSL is an upstream arm of the NNPC and FES, a service company of the corporation. (NAN)