The One Year Of Mele Kyari At The NNPC

By Adewole Kehinde

A year ago, Mele Kolo Kyari was named as the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He succeeded Maikanti Baru, now of blessed memory.

Mele Kyari was born on 8 January 1965 in Maiduguri, Borno State. He attended Government Community Secondary School Biu in Borno State between 1977 and 1982. In 1987, he obtained his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Maiduguri

After the retirement of Maikanti Baru from the corporation on 7 July 2019, Kyari was appointed by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the 19th GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

In 1991, he joined NNPC Processing Geophysicist with Integrated Data Services Limited. Same year, he started his career with the Department of Geological Survey of Nigeria as Field Geologist. He worked as an Exploration Geophysicist with the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) in 1998. In 2007, Kyari headed the Production Sharing Contracts Management in Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD). In 2014, he became the General Manager, Crude Oil Stock Management while in 2015 he was promoted to the post of Group General Manager, COMD.

He was the focal person for the Open Government Initiative; the initiative helps the government to track the buyer and seller of crude oil. On 13 May 2018, he became the Nigerian National Representative at OPEC

One year later, how has Kyari progressed? Is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation better today than it was as at the time he took over?

I will like to list some of the noted achievements to include the attainment of over Two billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit reserve and completion of Phase 1 of Port Harcourt Refinery Rehabilitation.

Discovery of Oil in Kolmani River-II Well and the Re-opening of OML 25 flow station after two years of inactivity as a result of issues between the host community/Belema Oil and Shell Petroleum Development Company.

Others also include “signing of novation agreement with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to formalise the transfer of OMLs 60, 61 and 63 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The execution of a funding, technical services agreement and alternative financing deal worth 3.15 billion dollars OML 13 and 876 million dollars OML 65

Signing of 2.5 billion dollars prepayment agreement with Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) for Upstream gas supply for trains 1-6, Finalisation of the 2018 audit of the NNPC Group and improved engagement with key stakeholders, notably, the National Assembly.

The Top management retreat which prescribed a five-step approach for the corporation to attain global excellence via the Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE ) agenda.

Well defined processes benchmark to World-class Oil and Gas company requirements, Right cost structure that guarantees value realisation and profitability.

Others are Goals, priorities and performance guarantee, Suitable governance structure for strategic business units and Entrenching team work and collaboration with all key stakeholders.

Kyari also seems to be doing a good job of managing relationships with stakeholder communities. Within a few weeks of assuming office, he was able to broker peace between Shell/Belema Oil, Operators of OML 25 and the oil well’s host community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. Crude oil production activities in the community have since resumed.

Kyari administration has also scored great by the release in June 2020; the 2018 Audited Financial Statement of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. It was the first time in 43 years Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation accounts would be audited and published for scrutiny; The statement covered all the 20 plus subsidiaries in the NNPC group.

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency International and other notable transparency organizations were satisfied with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for rendering an audited account for the general public.

The Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) which was taken in November 2019 is another achievement to commend Kyari for. The NLNG is one of the most successful business models in Africa. It is expected to generate over $20 billion revenue and over 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, Kyari must be commended for leading the negotiations to a decision stage.

It is no longer news that the downstream arm of NNPC operations is now digitized under Kyari, resulting in a significant reduction of human interface and bureaucratic bottleneck. Marketers can easily go through their records in all the  22 depots and take action appropriately.  

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation under Mele Kyari has also shown a great level of Corporate Social Responsibility. The Corporation has contributed to the efforts to mitigate the impact on the people. This includes the launch of a Petroleum Industry Intervention Fund, with a whopping sum of N21billion.

Part of the Intervention Fund is being used to fund medical interventions across the six geo-political zones of the country.

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via 08166240846.