NNPC’s net loss narrowed to N1.7 billion last year from N803 billion in 2018, the organization said in a statement, citing the impact of contract renegotiations, cost cuts and greater efficiency across its divisions. Revenue slipped to N4.63 trillion from N4.74 trillion.
The NNPC is working to “prune down running costs and grow revenues,” Chief Financial Officer Umar Ajiya said in an emailed statement. The outlook for 2020 “looks promising,” he said, without elaborating. Continued cost cuts suggest NNPC could be profitable this year, yet the company — like oil producers around the world — has faced plummeting demand as the coronavirus crisis forces widespread lockdowns.
In June, NNPC published its annual report for 2018, which contained an audited account of all its subsidiaries for the first time. Its 2019 report appeared just four months later, and shows that income from its National Petroleum Investment Management Services unit — the most profitable division — jumped 75 per cent to N2.83 trillion.
Earnings at NNPC’s exploration and production unit more than doubled to N479 billion. Nevertheless, the company’s liabilities of N9.68 trillion exceeded its assets by N4.4 trillion, raising “material uncertainty” about its operations, the auditors wrote in a note.
NNPC operates joint ventures with oil majors, which together pump almost all of Nigeria’s crude. It’s also responsible for supplying refined fuel to the nation’s 200 million people. Its four decrepit refineries continue to bleed cash, losing N154 billion in 2019 amid shutdowns for repairs.
The company hopes to stem those refining losses in its 2020 accounts, it said in the statement.