The new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, says he will reverse the trend of petroleum products importation in the country by rehabilitating the existing refineries and encouraging private sector investment in the refineries sub-sector.
In a statement, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, disclosed that the new Group Managing Director made the pledge at a valedictory session for the former Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, where Mallam Kyari took over the reins of management as the 19th Group Managing Director of the corporation.
“We must end the trend of fuel importation as an oil-producing country. We will deliver on the rehabilitation of the four refineries within the life of this administration and support the private sector to build refineries.
“We will support the Dangote refinery to come on stream as scheduled. We will transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products by 2023”, Kyari stated in his address at the occasion.
He said the age-long Federal Government’s target of raising crude oil production to 3 million barrels per day and reserves to 40 billion barrels per day was possible and that he would galvanize the corporation to achieve it by 2023.
On transparency and accountability, Kyari noted that the presence of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, at the event was a pointer to how much the NNPC had changed over the past three years from the old image of a corruption-laden organization. He stressed that he would continue to entrench the culture of accountability in the affairs of the corporation.
Speaking further, Kyari emphasized that every Nigerian was a stakeholder in the corporation, which implied that everyone had a right to information on how the NNPC is managed:
“NNPC will not be opaque, we’ll be transparent to all so that at the end of the day, everyone will be in a position to assess us and say what we have done right or wrong.”
The Group Managing Director, who barred his family members from accepting gifts on his behalf, said he would continue the automation of the petroleum products sale process so that marketers can buy products online.
“We will do this job with integrity, we’ll never put personal interest above that of the nation or the corporation”, the new Group Managing Director vowed, adding that he was conscious of the fact that he would ultimately be accountable to God for every of his actions.
He expressed gratitude to Dr. Baru, the outgoing Group Managing Director, for the role he played in his appointment, saying that the best way to honour him would be to perform so well and deliver on the job so that Baru could look back and say: “I did the right thing”.
Speaking earlier on his tenure as Group Managing Director, Dr. Baru said he did his best to put the corporation on the path of sustainable growth.
He acknowledged the roles played by each of the six Chief Operating Officers and Chief Financial Officer who made up his top management team in the success of his management and wished them the best in their future endeavours.
He urged the new Group Managing Director and his management team to focus on staff development, enhance transparency, improve on delivery of energy security to Nigerians, and do everything to step up crude oil and gas production.
Dr. Baru was visibly elated at the honour of being the only Group Managing Director since the inception of the corporation in 1977 to leave office upon attainment of the statutory retirement age and for whom a valedictory session was held. He expressed appreciation to staff of the corporation for their co-operation, even as he urged them to extend same to the new management.
In a goodwill message, the pioneer Group Managing Director of NNPC, Chief Festus Marinho, commended Dr. Baru for his sterling leadership qualities.
He said the valedictory session brought tears to his eyes because it symbolized the fulfilment of the dream of a seamless and peaceful transition which he and President Buhari, as founding fathers of the corporation, conceived for the corporation.
The alternate Chairman of the NNPC Board of Directors and former Group Managing Director, Dr. Thomas John, on his part, said he was proud of both Dr. Baru and Mallam Kyari, being the one who recruited them during his time as Group Managing Director.
“I am proud to be around to say goodbye to one and welcome the other”, he said, assuring management and staff of the corporation of the Board’s support.
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of handover notes to Mallam Kyari as the new Group Managing Director and his crowning with the legacy NNPC hat emblazoned with the corporation’s logo by Dr. Baru.
Amaka E. Nliam