Nigeria to Break State Oil Company Into 30 Units in Weeks

  • Managing director to be named for each company: Kachikwu
  • National oil company to become profitable by end of year

Nigeria will break up its state-owned oil company into 30 separate units within weeks in a bid to reform the unprofitable entity, Managing Director Emmanuel Kachikwu said.

Each company will have its own managing director and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. should become profitable by the end of the year, Kachikwu, who is also the state minister for petroleum resources, said Thursday in the capital, Abuja, according to an e-mailed statement.

“For the first time, we are unbundling the subset of the NNPC to 30 independent companies,” he said. “Titles like group executive directors are going to disappear and in their place you are going to have chief executive officers and they are going to take responsibilities for their titles. At the end of the day, the CEO of an upstream company must deliver an upstream result.”

In a January interview, Kachikwu said the NNPC was expected to be separated into four business units from more than a dozen that are mostly making losses.

Dragged Down

The NNPC lost 267 billion naira ($1.34 billion) last year after being dragged down by its refining business and as the finances of Africa’s top crude producer has been battered by a drop in oil prices in the past 12 months.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made it a priority to restructure the NNPC and rid it of the corruption that multiple probes have said is rampant. He disbanded the company’s board shortly after taking power in May and picked Kachikwu, a former Exxon Mobil Corp. executive, to head the firm.

Kachikwu also said in January the NNPC will start privatizing some assets in 2018. Buhari has ruled out selling the four refineries in the cities of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE