By Adewole Kehinde
Mallam Mele Kyari mounted the saddle as the Group Managing Director, GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with a very rich oil and gas industry background spanning over 27 years at a time the corporation and industry were experiencing very difficult times.
In the last 44 years of its operations, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has consistently recorded losses in its statement of account.
In the year 2020, however, the corporation recorded its first profit after tax, a whooping N287 billion. This feat was recorded in the COVID-19 lockdown year.
Kyari attributed the 2020 profit after tax to deliberate efforts to cut costs and its determined refrain from delving into any toxic ventures. Of course, the top management also engaged in low-interest borrowing.
His words; “The success came from doing things differently. When the incumbent administration came in 2015, a new operational template was installed which centres on cutting costs, increased transparency, etc. Buhari’s template led to what we have now. When I came, I continued from where my predecessor stopped.
“We were careful about what to invest in. This led to loss reduction in 2019 and a profit in 2020. It’s indeed a collective activity.
“We stopped buying what we didn’t need. We engaged our contractors to pull down costs by 30%. We also got logistics cost reduction, low borrowing cost and all that.
“The N287 billion is profit after tax. Either we add to it our capitalisation or decide what to do as the board decides, Kyari said.
It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited last week which has set the Company rolling.
It is based on this that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari has expressed confidence that with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the company is set to make more money for the country.
Addressing the staff of the organisation in a Town Hall meeting held at the NNPC Towers at the weekend, with staff outside the Corporate Headquarters participating virtually, Kyari said that full implementation of the new legislation would provide business opportunities that will enable the company earn more revenue for the country.
According to him, the new legislation has also raised shareholders’ expectations on the company, even as it has given it a wide room to make progress.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, the Act has put “all money-making options on the table. It is up to us to take advantage of it.”
He said that as a result of the new legislation, NNPC Ltd would not only shed some of its toxic liabilities but will be the largest and most capitalised company in the whole of Africa and, potentially, the most profitable on the entire continent.
Kyari charged employees of the organisation to ensure that the company becomes a commercially viable entity and a multi-billion-dollar company that will continuously deliver value to its shareholders, who are the over two hundred million Nigerians.
If I am not mistaken, Mele Kyari is the first GMD/CEO to ever hold Town Hall meeting with staff outside the Corporate Headquarters of the NNPC, either physically or virtually.
There is no doubt that Mal Mele Kyari has instilled greater transparency to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Kyari’s initiative to ensure that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited have a stake in any refinery operating in the country which produces above 50, 000 bpd, is a masterstroke and would bring a lot of economic benefits.
With these various efforts so far, Mal Mele Kyari remains a courageous Geologist with integrity in service and patriotic zeal towards achieving the corporate goal of the NNPC Limited in the overall interest of Nigeria as a nation.
Adewole Kehinde is the Publisher of Swift Reporters based in Abuja. He can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662