Barely 24 hours after the news of unbundling NNPC went viral, the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu, has retracted, saying the federal government was not unbundling but reorganising the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The minister who spoke Wednesday to journalists at the presidential villa, Abuja, said he was concerned about reports that NNPC had been broken into separate entities.
His comments followed the shutting down of NNPC by members Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers.
The oil workers protested the government’s earlier announcement that the NNPC had been unbundled into seven independent entities.
The new units, each to be headed by a Chief Executive Officers, are Upstream, Downstream, Gas & Power, Refineries, Ventures, Corporate Planning & Services and Finance and Accounts.
But speaking Wednesday in reaction to the workers’ strike, Mr. Kachikwu said, “We have not unbundled NNPC. We had a press conference yesterday where I explained this.
“What we have simply done is a reorganisation. We have five business entities focus on business: Upstream, Downstream, Refineries, Gas and Power that are there before.
“There is also Ventures that captures all our little companies that were not having proper stewardship. They are run by individuals who report to the GMD.
“The NNPC is still a whole. There is nothing new that has happened.
“I have tried to explain this and I am sure the NNPC workers are members of the family, they will understand. We are going to have a meeting, and they will be made to understand. Perhaps the engagement has not been good enough.
“NNPC has not been unbundled in the sense of breaking up NNPC into distinct institutions.