The new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, has vowed to 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.
The new GMD made the pledge Monday 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 GMD 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 on schedule. 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 and reserves to three million barrels per day and 40 billion barrels respectively was possible and that he would galvanise 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), Ibrahim Magu, at the event was a pointer to how much NNPC had changed over the past three years from the old image of a corruption-laden organization, stressing that he would continue to entrench the culture of accountability in the affairs of the corporation.
“We are going to work with the EFCC to remove every element of discretion from our processes, because discretion is one of the greatest enablers of corruption”, he said.
Speaking further on his commitment to entrench transparency in the operations of the corporation, Kyari said every Nigerian was a stakeholder in the corporation, which implied that everyone’ right to information on how NNPC is managed, adding: “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 GMD who barred members of his family 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 GMD vowed, adding that he was conscious of the fact that he would ultimately be accountable to God on every of his actions.
He expressed gratitude to Dr. Baru 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 GMD, 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 the best in their future endeavours.
He urged the new GMD 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 who was visibly elated at the honour of being the only GMD 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, expressing appreciation to staff of the corporation for their cooperation, 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 GMD, 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 GMD.
“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 GMD and his crowning with the legacy NNPC hat emblazoned with the corporation’s logo by Dr. Baru.