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For the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to become an Operator in any given oil and gas setting, the Corporation, firstly must own its own Exploration and Production Company with vast experience on land, swamp and deep water operations. Secondly, the NNPC requires huge investment in terms of time, money, local capacity development and most importantly a strong will power by the government as a major stake holder and business owner to enforce its desire to operate as a world class oil and gas company.

These issues and many others which include that of security and funding challenges being experienced in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry were critically examined and discussed during the occasion of an oversight visit to NAPIMS by the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to NAPIMS recently.

The Committee led by Honourable Abass Oloeponi who stood in for the chairman Honourable Bassey Out explained that the visit was in line with the Legislature’s constitutional role on over sight functions. Honourable Oloeponi stated that, the National assembly is a stakeholder in the Oil and Gas Industry, especially since oil is the biggest revenue earner for the Nigerian Nation. He further stated that the activities of NAPIMS as the manager of Federal Government’s investments in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry must be critically reviewed to enhance good returns on investments.

In his welcome address to the Honourable Committee members, the representative of the Group General Manager NAPIMS, Alhaji A.Y Gumai thanked the Honourable Members for the visit which he expected to be a rewarding one for NAPIMS. Since according to him, most of them are professionals with a vast knowledge base about the Industry. NAPIMS further made a presentation of its activities to the Committee members, noting NAPIMS involvement in some major National projects like the Independent Power Projects (IPPs).

On enquiries about domestic Gas supply, NAPIMS said that about USD11.6b has been set aside to fund Gas projects. In addition to the funds provided, it was revealed that NAPIMS has mandated the IOCs to domesticate gas that hitherto had been exported out of the country.

The committee members also requested for an overview of NAPIMS and her partners’ Community
Development efforts in their host communities.In her response, the Manager Public affairs, NAPIMS, Mrs. B.A Ashafa, briefly catalogued the various Community Development efforts embarked upon by the Oil Companies in their host Communities in the areas ranging from infrastructural development,  agricultural development, (poultry, fish farms, crops cultivation and seeds multiplication) through skills
acquisition (welding etc), Healthcare, Educational Empowerment through theprovision of scholarships etc and economic empowerment through the provision of income generating projects such as micro-credit etc.

She however noted that , it is difficult to highlight the project on individual basis as the entire industry activities transverses several states of the country; stating the particular instance of SPDC which has about 3,000 core communities and about 6,000 square kilometers of pipelines which straddles across 8 states of the Niger Delta.

Mrs. Ashafa informed the Honourable Members that PSC Companies who mostly operate in the deep waters have the entire Nigerian nation as their host communities and as such have the liberty of implementing Community Development projects in any part of the country.

She further explained the transition and metamorphosis of the process of Community Assistance (CA) to Community Development (CD) and finally Sustainable Community Development (SCD), noting that these efforts are geared towards enhancing the benefit accruable to communities. Responding, the Honourable members requested NAPIMS to periodically make use of the electronic and print media to keep all stake holders informed and abreast of these development efforts by NAPIMS and her Partners.

Alhaji A.Y Gumai thanked the Honourable members for the good interactive and enlightening session.