By Bolade Nafisat
I met a friend recently and the first thing he asked me is – how come we no longer line up at filling stations? I retorted – what is the big deal?
When she left, I was ruminating- what is the big deal? But I immediately realised that there is big deal. Real big deal. Many used to sleep at the filling stations. Every festive period is always a war. So what has happened? What magic was thrown at that old unsolvable problem? In the last five or so years, fuel scarcity has disappeared for good.
The bitter fact outside politics is that certain good things are happening. From Maikanti Baru to Mele Kyari , serious effort must have gone into making this historic feat a reality. From Bala Wunti to Musa Lawan , a strategic review must have occurred, leading to seamless supply from depots to stations.
While still refusing to commend the management of the oil corporation, I again noticed that at every critical national or international crisis points, sufficient fuel is always in stock pile, removing the usual panic buying and opportunities for manipulations by marketers. The whole thing looks simplistic; yet, it was a big deal in the past.
But how come we are not talking about it? Yes, because we have other issues too deeply worrisome for us? Because there are bigger problems at hand like the local refinery capacity issue? Because we still think more needs to be done in term of passing into law the Petroluem Industry Reforms bill, now almost a decade old? Or probably because we don’t like the face of Comrade Kyari?
Whatever the reason may be, fact is the NNPC management is gradually getting its act right. Kyari sets a positive tone which Muss Lawan , the Managing Director of PPMC is following religiously. Both are old hands within the corporation and according to those who know them, both grew through the ranks and belongs to the school of Spartan culture of integrity and transparency. The same applies to Bala Wunti who was moved from PPMC to NAPIMS as Group General Manager.
Just recently when the Covid-19 lockdown commenced, PPMC came out to calm frayed nerves. The PPMC Chief, Lawan, said the corporation has maintained steady supply of petroleum products across the country, adding that the company has enough products in its marine and land depots that could last another two months.
“I want to assure Nigerians that the PPMC has enough petroleum products to go round as they prepare to celebrate Easter. We have up to 2.53billion litres both in marine and in our inland depots. There is enough petroleum products in stock, and as we speak, some vessels laden with petroleum products are en route to the country,” Lawan informed, adding that ” PPMC would soon automate its processes, maintaining that the deployment of the application would reduce face-to-face interactions with marketers and promote transparency of all its operations”
Weeks into the lockdown, sufficiency of supply is the reality. That is surely commendable, politics apart.
Musa Lawan, the man preferring low profile style, is the Managing Director of PPMC. He was previously the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, (GGM, NAPIMS). He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Oil and Gas Law, from the prestigious University of Dundee Scotland United Kingdom 1990-1991 and a Bachelors of Law (LLB) Honours Degree from the University of Maiduguri 1979-1983. He joined the services of NNPC in 1987 as a legal officer responsible for General Legal matters
Mr. Lawan comes to this position with a rich composite upstream experience, having worked most of his career life in the upstream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry. The 1996-1997 reorganization in NNPC led to the merger of Insurance and Legal Department, insurance responsibilities under Operating Agreement came under Mr. Lawan’s purview. The task of merging the two departments but he was able to come up with merging of the legal and insurance Department seamless and easy.
By dint of hard work, Mr. Lawan rose through the ranks to become Deputy Manager Insurance in 2006 and a full Manager Insurance Department NAPIMS in 2012. In 2015, he was appointed a General Manager, Material Management Division NAPIMS. The task to evolve a very transparent and workable system to effectively manage both the human and materials in the Division was herculean. But he was able to contrive some enviable and expeditious landmark innovations in handling those tasks to the commendation of top Management and admiration of all staff. For instance, NAPIMS Materials Management Division under him was the first department to implement the NNPC Oil Field Services (NOFS) Strategic Alliance initiative with independent Contractors in marine Logistics of Exxon Mobil. This ensured capacity building and guaranteed reasonable revenue earning for the Corporation. He was also able to deploy a Management strategy that progressed a nine-year stalled aviation tender with one of the operators through constructive engagement, which subsequently led to substantial cost savings for the venture.
Mr. Lawan, an amiable but astute manager of men and resources, deftly brought the PSC producing companies to comply to the long-standing Government Directives for such companies to acquire and own their offices instead of leasing.
He also initiated a strategy for Cost reduction in Logistics for the industry through Optimization of common services. This singular action led to 20% cost saving.
The result of good work is more work. Having excelled in Material Management Division of NAPIMS, he was appointed a Group General Manager, Group Insurance Division Headquarters in early January 2019 at the Corporate Headquarters Abuja followed by his appointment to GGM, NAPIMS before his appointment as the PPMC boss.
Mr. Musa Lawan is a quintessential professional and belongs to many professional bodies amongst which are: Nigerian Bar Association, Member, Petroleum Lawyer Association (PEMLA, Fellow, Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (F. Rimson), Associate Member, American Bar Association, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Chartered Insurance Institute UK.
The entrenchment of professionalism in the PPMC is a process that directly affects Nigerians. It eases their burden and enhances their livelihood. The marketer-exploiters are put at bay. We no longer sleep for days at filling stations. Commercial drivers, the National comrades, are saying ‘tuales’.
Well done, Mr. Maina and your bigger boss, Mr. Kyari. But a lot still needs to be done. While working on new improvements, please make sure there is no relapse. The past of scarcity should never be our lot again.
Bolade Nafisat, a staff of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, writes from Games Village, Abuja. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org