The appointments of Mr Mele Kolo Kyari and Dr Thomas John as the new Group Managing Director and the acting alternate chairman of the Governing Board, respectively, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by President Muhammadu Buhari could be a good omen for the country’s petroleum industry. This is particularly so as it is the first time for an insider to take over the mantle of leadership of the nation’s cash cow.
Kyari, whose appointment would take effect from July 8, 2019, will be succeeding Maikanti Baru, who is to retire statutorily on July 7, 2019, at the age of 60. Dr John’s appointment takes immediate effect. He is to hold the position until the appointment of a new minister or minister of state for petroleum resources in line with Sections 1(3) and 2(1) of the NNPC Act.
NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, said the new GMD was until his new appointment the corporation’s Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division.
Ughamadu also announced the appointment of six chief operating officers and a chief financial officer. He said Kyari doubled, since May 13, 2018, as Nigeria’s national representative to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
On the other new appointees, he said Mr Roland Onoriode Ewubare, who hails from the South-south, was appointed Chief Operating Officer, Upstream. He was until his new appointment Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investments and Management Services, a corporate services unit of the corporation.
The oil firm stated that Mustapha Yinusa Yakubu hails from the North-central region of Nigeria and is newly appointed as Chief Operating Officer, Refining and Petrochemicals. Until his new appointment he was the Managing Director of National Engineering and Technical Company Limited.
Yusuf Usman hails from the North-east and is Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power. Until his new appointment, Usman was Senior Technical Assistant to the Group Managing Director of the corporation.
Lawrencia Nwadiabuwa Ndupu, from the South-east, is newly appointed as Chief Operating Officer, Ventures. She, until her new appointment, was the Group General Manager, NNPC Oil Field Services, established to provide technical services to players in the industry.
Umar Isa Ajiya, from the North-west, who holds the new position of the Chief Financial Officer was, until his recent appointment, the Managing Director of Petroleum Products Marketing Company of NNPC, a downstream arm of the corporation.
Adeyemi Adetunji, who is from the South-west, holding the new appointment of Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, was until his new appointment the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Limited, a downstream marketing company of NNPC.
Farouk Garba Said, who hails from the North-west and holds the new position of Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, was Group General Manager, Engineering and Technology Division of NNPC.
Already, OPEC and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) have commended the federal government for appointing Kyari, congratulated the new NNPC boss and called for more reforms at the corporation.
Kyari, who hails from Borno state, comes to the job as the 19th GMD of the NNPC with a rich profile of professional and service credentials. A geologist, Kyari is known in the oil industry as a crude oil marketer with outfield pedigree in petroleum economics and crude oil and gas trading.
With over 32 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, his tour of duty traversed the entire value chain of the petroleum industry.
A 1987 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree holder in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Maiduguri, Kyari did his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) as a Well Site Geologist with the Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) between 1987 and 1988.
Between 1988 and 1991, he worked with the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency before joining the NNPC subsidiary, Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), where he worked as a Seismic Data Processing Geophysicist in the Data Processing Department.
In 1998, Kyari was appointed the Exploration Geophysicist Production Sharing Contract (PSC) of the National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS) until 2004 when he became the Abuja Operations Manager of NAPIMS.
In 2006, he was appointed the Supervisor PSC, Crude Oil Marketing Department (COMD) of the NNPC, from where he rose to the position of Head, and later Manager of Production Contracts Management of the COMD between 2007 and 2014.
Kyari was appointed General Manager Oil Stock Management, COMD where he worked till 2015 before being appointed Group General Manager, COMD and later Nigeria’s National Representative at OPEC.
While congratulating Mr Kyari for his well deserved appointment, we urge him to formulate and implement pragmatic policies and programmes that will drive the nation’s petroleum industry towards greater efficiency, productivity and accountability.
One of the immediate tasks of the new NNPC GMD is to ensure that Nigeria’s four refineries located in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna operate at full capacity in order to exit the country from decades of fuel importation. It is scandalous and even embarrassing that Nigeria, being the sixth crude oil producer in the world, spends over N10 trillion annually on fuel subsidy. This is as ridiculous as it is unacceptable.