Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told the House Committee on Finance that joining the board of Dangote Refinery will ensure Nigerians’ oil security.
Mr Kyari claimed that the government purchased the interest to ensure that the company purchases crude oil from Nigeria, alleging that the owner of Dangote Refinery was opposed to the government purchasing a 20% stake in his refinery.
He pointed out that no government in the world would allow such a corporation to exist without a seat on its board of directors.
The NNPC’s decision to borrow money to buy stocks in the corporation sparked fury on social media, with Nigerians criticizing the action.
While testifying before the House Committee on Finance on Wednesday, the GMD stated that the action would ensure Nigerians’ oil security.
“I can affirm, Mr Chairman, that taking a stake was at the request of the NNPC; I believe Mr Dangote does not want us to take stock in this plant at this time. This is a hastily made policy decision that fuel will ensure security since we will have a place at the table, with a right to 20% of the facility’s output.
“As of right now, we don’t have any strategic storage or planning in place. As a result, no county will allow such a venture to exist without a seat on its board.”
He went on to say that because the refinery is in a free trade zone, it is not obligated to acquire crude oil from Nigeria.
James Faleke, the committee’s chairman, said that lawmakers would be obliged to pass legislation requiring Mr Dangote to purchase from Nigeria.