Undoubtedly, the announcement of the appointment of Alhaji Mele Kolo Kyari as the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation came as no surprise to almost every patriotic Nigerian. To those who know him, Kyari is the true definition of a dedicated public servant who has served the NNPC and his country for over 32 years and in the process, gained enormous experience and knowledge of the working of the global oil industry.
It would be no exaggeration therefore, to say that Kyari, an eminently distinguished son of Borno state in the North East, is sufficiently prepared for the top NNPC job and that President Muhammadu Buhari has made the right choice in this seasoned crude oil marketer and true gentleman who is deeply respected by everyone around him.
A 1987 geology graduate of the University of Maiduguri, Kyari has held top executive positions in the NNPC including Group General Manager, GGM of the Crude Oil Marketing Division before his present elevation.
He has received humanitarian and civic awards from several organizations, including the GMD Prize for the Overall Best Performance for NNPC Management Development Programme and the GED CS Award For Best Performance in Leadership. Within the last 27 years, he has traversed the entire value chain of the petroleum industry posting resounding performance in all his assignments and has never been found wanting.
He was Nigeria’s representative at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) prior to his appointment as NNPC CMS. Kyari led the team that proposed and managed the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement of petroleum products from 2016 to date; a process that saved the nation $1 Million in 2016 when compared with the previous crude SWAP arrangement with products.
As head of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC, Kyari ensured optimum determination and secured government’s equities and entitlements of Crude Oil, Natural Gas Liquids, NGL, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG production from various fiscal arrangements. Beyond the substance of his role in helping implement key aspects of the NNPC vision while juggling other national priorities, Kyari is always a gentleman, uniquely accessible, ready to listen and penetrate to the heart of a matter to develop strategies and actions to achieve an outcome.
He is among the best and the brightest of the capable team the NNPC has assembled, and among the most dedicated public servants in the country. He has as well participated in various deep water projects across the globe and is also a unionist and pronounced advocate of transparency who came to be fondly called by other unionists as “Grand Chairman.”
On the personal plane, Kyari is known to promote a healthy lifestyle, very talented, intelligent, down to earth and mannerly. He gives back so much to the community, cares a lot about his influence on young people by always displaying good judgment in public and private, in control of his actions and image. With this impressive background, no one is in doubt that Kyari will continue to make important contributions in his new post duly attained through dedicated commitment to serving the country, the NNPC and various administrations.
His appointment represents another move by Mr President towards transforming and professionalising the oil sector, improving service delivery as well as putting into operation the idea towards building a capable nation with a sustainable economic growth plan. In particular, it is hoped that he would utilise the opportunities offered by his new office to influence the material and human growth of the North-east as well as his native Borno state.
Triple Cee Media, Abuja.