August 8, 2022

Mal Mele Kolo Kyari: 57 Garlands For The ‘Grand Chairman’ Of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry

8 min read

By Adewole Kehinde

Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer/ Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited clocks 57 on January 8th, 2022.

There is no doubt that on this eventful day, encomiums and accolades will be poured on the geologist, crude oil marketer and quintessential administrator by prominent Nigerians from all walks of life for his role in the advancement of the Oil and Gas industry and development in Nigeria.

It will be another day of celebration for a man, who’s administrative acumen in the management of NNPC Limited in less than three years at the helm of affairs is crystal clear for everyone to see.

Since Mele Kolo Kyari assumed office as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited over two year ago, he has not hidden his desire to bequeath to Nigerians a company that not only serve the purpose it was founded, but one that aligns with international best practice.

Before I delve into his achievements, let me touch on his biography.

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 (BSc) in geology and earth science from the University of Maiduguri.

He is a geologist, crude oil marketer and the 19th Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Before this appointment, Kyari was the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC and the Nigerian National Representative at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 2018.

After the retirement of Late Maikanti Baru from the corporation on 7 July 2019, Kyari was appointed by the administration of President Buhari as the 19th GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. In 1991, he joined NNPC Processing Geophysicist with Integrated Data Services Limited. In 1991, 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 chaired 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 is 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.

Kyari has a history in unionism and activism. He is popularly referred to as ‘Grand Chairman’ by colleagues, friends and admirers alike because he was once Group Chairman of NNPC PENGASSAN (Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria).

On assumption of office, Kyari inherited an NNPC that was still struggling to shake off the negative image of a national oil company where nothing works.

Established on April 1, 1977 as Nigeria’s National Oil Company, the NNPC has been living in the dark shadows of a cesspool of monumental corruption and opacity; a place perpetually lagging behind its peers in other climes; where nothing is done properly and efficiency to the benefit of its shareholders, which are the Nigerian people.

Kyari knew NNPC needed a new vista and a break away from its decadent past. He saw his appointment as an opportunity of lifetime to give the NNPC a new direction in the way, its operations and businesses are well conducted, and give Nigerians a renewed hope.

Days after his inauguration, the reform-minded oil, and gas industry technocrat unfolded an agenda for NNPC’s rebirth. He called it the Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE), a five-step strategic roadmap for NNPC’s attainment of efficiency and global excellence.

During the official unveiling of the TAPE agenda, Kyari said it was the only way to transform the NNPC and enhance its potential and capacity to compete with other national oil companies around the world.

Kyari told members of the NNPC’s Management team to buckle up, shape up, ship in with the new direction, or ship out with the old ways of doing things.

In other to achieve the objectives of TAPE, he set out some measures which include:

NNPC operational processes were made transparent and accountable to the Nigerian people and the government. The new system operates along with well-defined operational processes, benchmarked against established global best practices by world-class oil and gas companies; Set the right operational cost structure, to guarantee value-addition towards NNPC’s sustained profitability and Set achievable goals, priorities and performance standards and criteria, by developing suitable governance structures for its strategic business units and the entrenchment of team-spirit, work ethic and collaboration with all key stakeholders to achieve set corporate goals.

Kyari visible footprints of achievements across all segments of the Nigeria’s petroleum industry – Upstream, Downstream, Gas & Power as well as his interventions in other sectors to give Nigerians a new lease is second to none.

Prior to Kyari’s appointment, the upstream sector of the country’s petroleum industry was facing a myriad of challenges. Prices at the international crude oil were experiencing a rapid decline.

Earnings from crude oil exports were significantly lower than the situation a few years ago. The average oil production volumes of 1.9 million barrels per day were significantly below the country’s approved 2.3 million barrels per day capacity in the 2019 Federal Budget.

Days after his inauguration, the reform-minded oil, and gas industry technocrat unfolded an agenda for NNPC’s rebirth. He called it the Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE), a five-step strategic roadmap for NNPC’s attainment of efficiency and global excellence.

Below are just few of his Management team’s achievements:

  • The AKK Pipeline Project – Considered to be at the heart of the country’s economic growth, Kyari has pursued the execution of the project with single-minded commitment to see that it is completed on schedule in 2023.
  • Passage of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) – On August 16, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari shocked his many detractors when, in a historic move, he signed into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) – now the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). Perhaps, in the emotive moment, many may forget that having suffered several setbacks for close to 20 years, the bill navigated the most tortuous journey in the history of law-making in Nigeria. It is a major feat and it is one of the boldest, flagship executive actions by the Buhari presidency.
  • Incorporation of NNPC Limited under CAMA. – Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited was incorporated on September 22, 2021, with the registration number: RC — 1843987.
  • Uninterrupted Fuel Supply – Prior to his appointment, hiccups in the supply of petroleum products was a common feature in the Nigerian economy. The incessant disruptions in fuel supply affected Nigerians’ ability to plan effectively. They could not predict when the next fuel scarcity would hit the country and send families to spend days and nights in long fuel queues at filling stations.
  • Strategic Fuel Reserve/Refineries Repairs – Kyari made sure the NNPC thought ahead and built a strategic reserve of over two billion litres of PMS the country could fall back on till it was able to import more petroleum products.
  • Involvement of NNPC’s Local Workforce – Kyari has ensured NNPC engineers working with the National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), the engineering and technical subsidiary of the corporation, would be involved. They will work with KBR, the original owners of the engineering technology for the refinery rehabilitation projects to handle the refineries’ rehabilitation programme. Feasibility studies have already been completed for the construction of a condensate refinery, while the NNPC has given its commitment to sustain seamless supply and distribution of petroleum products. After the rehabilitation of the refineries, Kyari said the NNPC has agreed with the government to take away the management of the refineries from the bureaucracy and hand over to private investors, as past experiences confirmed the government cannot handle business effectively. Consequently, Kyari said the contract for the operation and management (O&M) of the rehabilitated refineries would be put up for bid by qualified professional managers to take over and manage, to cut off the bureaucratic bottlenecks, for ensure the refineries functioned well.
  • Regulatory Compliance – Kyari has also implemented various International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 9, 15 and 16 across NNPC Group to ensure regulatory compliance as well as implemented the Centralized Invoice Processing System, integration of systems, applications and products to Remitta, SAP Funds management and issued conditions for financial autonomy of NNPC SBUs.
  • Roll out Integrated Management Systems – Kyari has ensured the NNPC automates its operations by rolling out the SAP enterprise management software in performance management, procure to pay, travel management to ensure an automated and integrated operational process. He has also inaugurated the NNPC Delivery Team charged with the responsibility of ensuring the effective performance tracking of top five priorities across the business as well as launch the NNPC Code of Conduct and Tip Portal. Kyari leveraged on the existing Direct-Sales-Direct-Purchase (DSDP) product supply arrangement he started and sustained while in office as the GGM COMD of the NNPC, to guarantee energy security for Nigerians.
  • Final Investment Decision on $3.6bn methanol plant in Bayelsa. The plant, an integrated methanol and gas project in Odioma, Brass Island, Bayelsa State, which is scheduled to come into operation in 2024, is expected to produce 10,000tons of methanol daily.
  • US$260m Funding Agreement for ANOH Gas Processing Company Limited (AGPC). The project will deliver 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 1,200 megawatts of electricity to the domestic market.
  • Launch of Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimization Programme (NUCOP) to drive down the cost of crude oil production in the country so as to remain competitive in the global market.
  • Award of $1.5 billion contract for Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery to Tecnimont SPA of Italy. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) also approved the sum of $1.48 billion for the rehabilitation of both Warri and Kaduna refineries.
  • Commercialization of OML 143 Gas13 Execution of OML 118 (Bonga) Agreements between NNPC & Partners.
  • Shareholder Agreement for Brass Petroleum Product Terminal (BPPT). When completed, the BPPT will help close the infrastructure gap in the distribution of petroleum products which will consequently stabilize petroleum product price in the riverine communities of the Niger Delta.
  • Contract signed to build Maiduguri Emergency Power Project – The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has commenced the construction of a 50-megawatt gas turbine power plant, the Maiduguri Emergency Power Project (MEPP), expected to generate electricity to the capital city and its environs. The NNPC Limited had announced a plan for the gas-powered plant in April as a long-term solution to the incessant attacks and destruction of power lines by the Boko Haram insurgents, who had frustrated attempts to restore power to the beleaguered city.
  • Publication of NNPC 2020 Audited Financial Statement and Posts N287 billion Profit, the first time it will record such profit in 44 years.
  • Construction/Rehabilitation of 21 Roads under FG’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme.
    The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), on Tuesday, 21st December, 2021 officially handed over a N621bn Cheque to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

In all, Kyari’s years in office may have opened up the system a bit, but there is a glimmer successive years would build on the foundation and bring more value to Nigerians.

As you celebrate this milestone, I pray that you will enjoy many more years of good health, to enable you continue to offer selfless service to this nation and humanity at large.

Adewole Kehinde is the Publisher of Swift Reporters. He can be reached via 08166240846 and 08123608662

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