The new group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, has promised to transform the corporation into a globally competitive national oil company.
He also gave the assurance that the company will become very transparent and accountable to Nigerian citizens whom, he said, are the owners of the corporation.
Kyari, who made these comments at the valedictory session held for his predecessor, Dr. Maitanti Baru, asserted that the corporation is owned by the Nigerian people and must deliver value for them.
He noted that Baru had laid a solid foundation for the corporation within the years he was in charge.
“In the last three years we have made significant strides,. We have made progress. Dr. Baru has laid the foundation. I am proud to say that I am part of many of the decisions that led to this. As a deep insider, I cannot take exception for anything you see today.
“Therefore, I guarantee you that we are going to take this forward. We are going to make this company a global competitive company. We will engage global best practices in our operations.
“We will remove discretion. We will encourage national frontier of engagement with our stakeholders, the National Assembly, the state governments, transparency organisation such as Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and all other institutions that require to know what we are doing.
“We will be doing this so that at the end of the day, this company will become the proud national oil company that we are all looking forward to,” he said.
On the refineries, he promised to revive them before the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
“It is a right expectation from Nigerians; how can we be a crude oil producing country with four refineries and we are importing petroleum products, sometimes 100 per cent of our requirements.
“There are steps we are taking, and just as the (outgoing) GMD has told you when the Port Harcourt Refinery will start operations, we wish to assure you that within the lifespan of this administration, before President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023 , we will deliver all the four refineries.
“And we will do more than that; we will partner with private sector operators on private refineries, especially the Dangote Refinery which we think can be the game changer for all of us. We will support them though we don’t have any investment in it; we don’t own it but we know it is strategic.
“We will support the Dangote Refineries to make sure it comes on stream within the shortest possible frame of time, I cannot set time for them; the latest information I have is that it will come on stream in the first quarter of 2020. We will support them to make sure that it comes on stream. There are several other initiatives that are going on, like the smaller modular refineries. We think that by 2023 this country must be a net exporter of petroleum products.”
Earlier, the outgoing GMD, Baru, had expressed gratitude to the staff of the corporation for the support they gave to him that enabled him to achieve so much within a space of three years.
“I look back with so much pride at what we have achieved together as a family towards moving this great Corporation forward with the Twelve Business Focus Areas. Your contributions to the growth of the organisation is highly recognised and I cannot thank you enough.
“I have the comfort of knowing that, from today, we are leaving NNPC in better hands. I say without exaggeration that Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari and his team are the most capable and caring leaders that will take NNPC to greater heights.”
Speaking of his successor, Kyari, Baru noted that he had wide experience in the upstream business and in the international scene as country chair in OPEC.
“He possesses the skills and temperament to continue on the path of moving NNPC to better heights,” Baru added.