Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says that 339 companies have submitted bids for the the 2020/21 sales and purchase of the Nigerian crude oil grades.
Mr Kyari said this at the 2020/2021 Crude oil tender prequalification bid opening ceremony held in Abuja on Thursday where he was represented by NNPC’s Chief Financial Officer Umar Ajiya.
He said that the event marked another transparent process for the NNPC and that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the group had modified the bidding process by leveraging on technology to improve the bidding process.
Mr Kyari said that the NNPC will ensure that there will be strict compliance with all the extant regulations in line with its commitment to transaparency and accountability.
“We have continued to see a strong demand for different grades of Nigerian crude in the oil market despite the lockdowns and refinery run cuts.
“We are also witnessing demand for Nigerian crude switch from traditional destinations such as India and finding home in new markets such as China,” he said.
He said that the 2020/21 crude oil bidding had many objectives, one of which is to engage reputable, qualified and high capacity international and indigenous companies.
He said that the companies would guarantee market placement of the Nigerian crude oil at optimum value during the next contracting cycle.
He said that the NNPC would ensure that selection of off-takers was aligned with tested transparent and accountable procedures in compliance with the Public Procurement and Nigerian Content Acts.
Mr Ajiya said that in addition to these objectives, the NNPC would sustain transparency in all process and establish the best partners through a robust mix of big international players and indigenous companies.
“Ultimately, crude oil is a major revenue earner in Nigeria, therefore, the credibility of this process is very important to us all.
Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, Chief Operating Officer Upstream, said that the corporation had taken steps to ensure the process of producing the best bidder emerged while adhering to COVID-19 principles.
He added that the process also adhered to the Corporation’s Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda, extant statutory requirements and most important the Public Procurement Act.
He said that stakeholders like the Nigerian Extractive industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Bureau of Public procurement (BPP), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), among others were part of the bid opening as part of statutory requirement.
Billy Okoye, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, said that the selection of off-takers aligned with tested transparent and accountable procedures in compliance with the BPP act.
“The bid submission process was modified by replacing it with virtual submission interphase on the NIPex portal to ensure all applicants were granted equal opportunity and access to unified submissions platform,” he said.
Mr Okoye said that the NNPC remained committed to a selection process executed with utmost transparency.