Kyari’s Reappointment Is Meritorious

By Adewole Kehinde

“Hard work pays off if you’re patient enough to see it through.”Michael Chandler

Mele Kyari took over as the Group Managing Director of the now-defunct Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on July 7, 2019, during a pivotal moment in the company’s history as well as for the country’s economy and the oil and gas industry in general.

Low output, widespread oil pipeline vandalism, widespread oil theft, and a demoralized workforce were the hallmarks of this difficult time.

Like many driven achievers and visionaries, Kyari got things going right away. Soon after becoming office, he presented his “Roadmap to Global Excellence,” which was based on the TAPE Agenda. Transparency, Accountability, and Performance Excellence are referred to as TAPE in the roadmap. GMD continued to be the governing principle of his administration at NNPC during his tenure as its head.

After the Petroleum Industry Act took effect in 2021, former President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the company that replaced the NNPC. The TAPE became the standard for guiding the new company forward in a global economy still suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the world in 2020 and 2021.

Being a technocrat with a long history of integrity and commitment to duty in the industry, Mallam Kyari has helped the national oil corporation of the nation compete favourably with its foreign rivals. This is thanks to his position as the head of NNPC’s affairs.

Even though he has been the group chief executive officer of NNPC Ltd. for more than two years, the corporation has performed admirably throughout his leadership. Situations and circumstances that had previously seemed insurmountable had been turned around under his leadership.

One of these challenges is the mindless theft of Nigeria’s oil by criminal cabals and individuals, which left Nigeria for a long time unable to meet its oil production quota. To solve the problem, the management of NNPCL under Kyari’s astute leadership launched the “Crude Theft Monitoring Application”.

The app called ‘Crude Theft Monitoring Applications’ was created for members of host communities and other Nigerians to report incidents of oil theft.

Due to the massive reforms introduced in the Nigerian National Oil Company Limited, Kyari faced many sponsored protests, articles, etc just to take him out of the company and bring in their persons that will return NNPC Limited back to the era of corruption.

Kyari’s reappointment on Monday, 27th November 2023 has come as no surprise and is a testament to his exemplary record and exceptional performance over the many years he has worked for NNPC Limited in a variety of strategic roles.

Among Kyari’s major achievements was that he successfully flagged off the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project. The project, which is near completion and described as a game-changer, is an integral part of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) with a capacity to transport about 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Mallam Kyari also led the NNPCL to achieve a $300 million reduction in the cost of the AKK Gas Pipeline contract via contract renegotiation from the initial $2.8 billion.

Another of the most impressive accomplishments of Kyari’s stewardship at NNPC was the flag-off of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project in Bauchi State in November 2022, marking the commencement of efforts to commercially exploit oil in the Northern part of Nigeria. It was deemed as one of the most massive projects. The Kolmani Oil Field, estimated to have a reserve of about one billion barrels of crude oil, OPL 809 and 810, lies in the Gongola Basin of the Upper Benue Trough, straddling Bauchi, and Gombe States. The project will have the capacity to transport two billion standard cubic feet of natural gas daily to power plants in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, and various gas-based industries, boosting the nation’s socioeconomic growth.

Mallam Kyari also touched on the downstream operation of the NNPC with the introduction of Operation White, which has helped streamline petroleum products importation, supply, and distribution across the country.
Though it was perhaps a breakthrough for Kyari, the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by former President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2021 allowed for more substantial changes within the country’s largest oil company.

Notably, Kyari put up a great effort to secure the PIA’s passage. This project aims to restructure the nation’s energy laws, establish a deregulated environment, remove government influence from the oil sector, and unbundle the oil firm.

The passage of the PIA gave birth to the new, refreshed, and rejuvenated Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

The birth of the NNPC Limited in 2021 wound up the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, after 46 years of operation.

The PIA empowered NNPC Limited to operate like every private company in Nigeria with exemption from the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Public Procurement Act, and TSA to ensure there are no excuses for failure.

Following this milestone, Kyari, who is now the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, initiated new investment benchmarks to further rejuvenate the once-ineffective company.

Mallam Kyari outlined the fundamentals of the new oil firm at the NNPC Limited launch, emphasizing that all Nigerians are shareholders.

According to him, “I’m happy to say this moment that this country is changing. And by the way, I can tell you we are the competition. We are NNPCL. We don’t create rules anymore. We are the competition.

“We will pay taxes; we will pay royalties like anyone; we will also pay dividends to our shareholders which many of you are. So, we are in business and business means competition. We are a private sector – forget about the fact that we are owned by the government 100 percent.

“By the way, you are also aware, that we are going Initial Public Offer (IPO) very soon, we’ll sell a part of our equity. It’s in the law, and once that happens, we will not be any different for any of you and it will be a very different business environment.”

In June this year, NNPCL, in a major landmark, signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with five African countries as part of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline (NMGP) project.

The deal was sealed with Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Benin, and Guinea. The NMGP is a 5,600km gas pipeline project, traversing 13 African countries. The project would create an opportunity to monetize Nigeria’s abundant hydrocarbon resources by expanding access to energy to support economic growth, industrialization, and job creation across the country and beyond. The project will contribute to accelerating access to energy for all, improving the living conditions of the Nigerian populace, integrating the economies of the sub-region, and mitigating desertification.

In a major step towards bolstering Nigeria’s energy security and promoting the utilization of its abundant gas resources, the NNPCL and UTM Offshore Limited recently signed a Heads of Terms (HoT) agreement for the construction of the nation’s first indigenous Floating LNG project.

The oil company had explained that apart from significantly cutting down on gas flaring and supporting the country’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the project would also create over 7,000 job opportunities, contributing to the nation’s economic growth and development.

In his resolve to put an end to the business of oil thieves, Kyari introduced the “Crude Theft Monitoring Application” (CTMA) to check the theft of Nigeria’s oil. The CTMA, which has been helpful in preventing oil theft, has application options for reporting incidents, with prompt follow-up and responses. Additionally, the portal included a feature for validating crude sales documents.

Most recently, Kyari has continued to unclog the pores of the company by combating illegal refineries. His efforts at combating crude oil theft and illegal refineries were positive, leading to a significant spike in daily oil production, reaching 1.6 million barrels per day.

In the last weeks, in addition to several other breakthroughs, at least 400,000 barrels of crude oil have been lost daily, translating to a loss of $34.8 million daily. The national oil company has recorded successes in uncovering 43 cases of pipeline vandalism, 37 cases of vessel AIS (Automatic Identification System) infraction, and 20 cases of illegal storage within the period under review.

The NNPC Limited also reported 89 cases of vehicle arrest and seized 94 wooden boats during the period under review. It also tracked nine vessels, out of which three were successfully arrested.

According to the NNPC Limited, eight oil spill cases were recorded in 28 days.

This is, however, a testament to Kyari’s resolution to completely eradicate the business of oil thieves in the country.

The resilient man’s leadership has been the driving force behind all of these recent successes and innovations. He is working tirelessly to reform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry through regulations that prioritize accountability and transparency.

Overall, the PIA’s execution and the consolidation agreements made with NNPC Limited have transformed Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and opened new avenues for its expansion and success.

May I conclude by wishing Mal Mele Kyari health, happiness, and a long life of service to our great industry, to NNPC Limited, and to the Country.

 

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846, kennyadewole@gmail.com