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Like Diezani, like Baru…NNPC boss recycles oil barons and creates new billionaires with crude contracts

• Old wine is recycled in new bottle as NNPC awards 2017 crude oil term contracts to 39 companies
By The Capital
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Like the proverbial politician who promises to build bridges even where there are no rivers, Maikanti Kacalla Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, vowed to end the rot in the Nigerian petroleum industry.

Among other things, he swore to eradicate the pathetic culture of creating billionaires only among a select cabal, to the detriment of Nigeria’s petro-business and the entire oil sector.

But no sooner did he assume power than he forgot his promises. As you read, Baru is in the process of creating a new clique of billionaire oil barons, just like Diezani Madueke.

Acting on his directive, the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has awarded its 2017 crude oil term contracts to 39 companies. The contracts covering about 1.31 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil were awarded to 18 Nigerian companies, 11 international trading houses, five foreign refineries, three national oil companies and two NNPC Group trading arms.

The oil corporation said the contracts, worth a total of more than $72 million per day at crude prices of around $55.60 per barrel, were each for 32,000 barrels per day (bpd), apart from Duke Oil Ltd, an NNPC Group subsidiary, which was for 90,000 bpd.

The list compared with 27 companies that won contracts of varying sizes for 2016. Nigeria typically produces just over 2 million bpd of crude oil, although its 2016 output was hobbled by militant attacks. By this new crude oil deals, Baru has created yet another batch of billionaires. Even though some names on the list have appeared in certain controversial oil transactions in the past, Baru deemed it fit to award lucrative oil deals to the companies.

Now, under Buhari’s government, the company is set to reap greater profits courtesy the mouthwatering contracts recently awarded it by the NNPC. Thus in few months, a crop of billionaires will reemerge in the nation’s oil sector. Excited by the prospects of making immense profits, beneficiaries of the deals are praising Maikantu Baru, NNPC boss for this deal.