Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, on Tuesday, announced that it had put in place a build, operate and transfer scheme for the rehabilitation of pipelines and depots across the country.
It said contracts for the BOT would be awarded to successful investors this year, adding that the move would effectively diversify the mode of transporting petroleum products nationwide.
Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the 23rd Annual General Meeting/Conference of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners in Abuja.
He said the oil company was supporting the Federal Government in rehabilitating the country’s road, as approval was given for the first phase of 1,800km roads rehabilitation by NNPC, worth N621bn.
“That is ongoing as we speak and we are making good progress on those projects,” Kyari, who was represented by NNPC’s Group Executive Director, Downstream, Adeyemi Adetunji, stated.
He said phase two of the roads rehabilitation project was approved last week by the Federal Executive Council, to the tune of N1.9tn, covering 44 roads with a total distance of 4,554km, as the oil firm was also looking at other means of transporting products.
Kyari said, “We are not resting on our oars. We are also looking at other modes of transporting petroleum products. Currently we have put in place a build, operate and transfer scheme to rehabilitate the entire pipeline network and depots across the country.
“That process is at an advanced stage and very soon, in the course of the year, we will be awarding the contracts to the winners of the BOT process.”
On fuel supply challenges, Kyari said NNPC was working with the various aspects of government to address this, as he urged NARTO to continue supporting the national oil company in keeping Nigeria wet with petroleum products.
On his part, National President, NARTO, Yusuf Othman, said the AGM provided an opportunity to interact with stakeholders on matters affecting road transportation business and the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
He said the operating environment in the transportation business was very harsh throughout 2022, adding that perhaps this was the reason why the Gross Domestic Product growth year-on-year declined to 2.25 per cent from the 4.05 per cent recorded in 2021.
“The fall in value of our revenue receipts was another major blow to our business due to rising inflation, which stood at 21.34 per cent as at December 2022, against 15.63 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2021,” Othman stated.
He added, “The practical implication of the above means there were not enough revenues to be used as fresh capital to replace our aging and dilapidated trucks or even undertake critical maintenance works and payment of overheads.
“To make matters even worse, the average interest rate charged by banks was 25.07 per cent, a situation that made it difficult for our members to source funds.
“Fleet replacements, as well as the ability to buy spare parts is a function of one’s capacity to secure foreign exchange. Our members are not considered for allocation of foreign exchange at official rates, thus, they must source their forex from the parallel market.”
He further stated that bad roads were a major threat to safe transportation, but noted that there seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel after the approval of N621bn NNPC tax credits for the repair and rehabilitation of 21 critical roads across the country.