Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) is 80% ready for an IPO, group CEO Mele Kyari told an Adipec audience this week.
The company transitioned to a “fully commercial” model in 2021. NNPC must “perform better than its peers in the private sector”, he continued. It will gradually transform from being state owned to something wider.
Such a move might either be an IPO, Kyari said, or selling equity in the company to a strategic investor.
“It’s a massive process that requires transformation, that requires an alignment with the realities of today,” he continued.
NNPC is now making money, he said. “Is it making enough money? No.”
NNPC is the largest corporate in Africa and the country has a growing middle class, demanding more and more energy. NNPC has a “clear strategy” for the transition, with a drive to diversify the supply of energy for consumers.
Nigerians must move away from the use of biomass in cooking, for instance, and towards cleaner natural gas. It’s an “absolute necessity”, the executive said.
In addition to efforts to supply the domestic market, NNPC has grand plans for exports. Kyari mentioned the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) and the Trans Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP).
“We are ramping up work on Train 7 [at Nigerian LNG] and giving a clear indication of a decision to proceed with more, we’re calling Train 8.” He also noted other smaller-scale LNG export opportunities.
It is not a lack of gas that is hampering NNPC, Kyari noted. “It’s a lack of will.”
Nigeria has changed, he continued. “Very global partners are talking to us today about how do we work with you, how do we build the gas.” A number of countries are talking to NNPC, he continued. “In three, four years to come, Nigeria will be a hub of gas in West Africa.”
Among the sources of support, Afreximbank is working with NOCs to create an energy bank. “It’s almost done”, Kyari said. “We will have an institution to lend to us.”
Kyari did not speculate about additional projects from the IOCs in Nigeria, nor did he comment on the much delayed Seplat Energy deal.