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Garlands for GMD, NNPC, Mele Kyari at 56

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, and lockdown, economic activities contracted significantly, leading to low demand for crude oil and dwindling prices, thus putting pressure on oil and gas companies and other stakeholders to put on their thinking caps, required to drive operations.

Take the Mallam Mele Kyari-led Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which represents the Federal Government in the Joint Ventures with the International Oil Companies, IOCs, as an example. In the past one and half years, the NNPC, working with other parties succeeded in increasing the nation’s oil production capacity from over 2.0 million barrels per day, mb/d to 3.0 mb/d in April, 2020. The nation has to limit itself to 1.4 mb/d, excluding Condensate as allowed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

Mallam Mele Kyari, GMD NNPC

In terms of gas, as at November 2020, the NNPC achieved a total of 1.5 Billion Standard Cubic Feet production per day, while its equity production stood at 1.38billion cubic feet of gas per day. The Corporation successfully achieved the flagging-off by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 30, 2020 of the construction phase of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project, which has the capacity to transport about 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day of gas for utilisation.

Apart from successfully leading the charge to take the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the NLNG Train 7, he revved up the process of completing long-standing gas infrastructure projects such as the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System Phase 2 and Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline.

Mallam Kyari ended 2020 on a high note in the gas sector with the inauguration of the Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility in Ologbo, Edo State. The facility is already helping to bridge the gap in local production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) and providing more gas for power generation in the country.

He facilitated a number of projects, including the resolution of the dispute between Shell and Belema Oil that shut in over 30,000 barrels per day production in Oil Mining Lease, OML 25 and the execution of the Abo OML 125 Heads of Terms, thus paving way for eventual renewal of OML 125 and further investment in exploring the oil field.

The GMD has also led NNPC to secure a number of alternative funding facilities for the NPDC and the Corporation’s Joint Ventures to facilitate further development of some assets. These include: the N875.75m NPDC OML 65 Alternative Funding and Technical services package with CMES-OMS Petroleum Development Company, the $3.15bn Alternative Financing Package with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) and other partners for the development of NPDC’s OML 13, which first oil of about 7,900bpd was achieved on April 1, 2020, while production is expected to peak at 94,000bpd of oil and 542mmscfd of gas within four years.

Mallam Kyari ended 2020 on a high in the gas sector with the commissioning of the Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility in Ologbo, Edo State. The facility is already helping to bridge the gap in local production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) and providing more gas for power generation in the country.

These and other feats would not have been achieved without transparency and accountability. In fact, in the past one and half years, Mallam Kyari has transformed NNPC from a corporation, noted for opacity into one that has embraced transparency, through the publication of the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).

Specifically, Mallam Kyari took the transparency drive a notch higher by publishing the Corporation’s 2018 Audited Financial Statement in July last year. It was the first in the history of the Corporation that its Audited Financial Statement was made available to the public. He followed that up with the publication of the 2019 Audited Financial Statement in October. One significant feature of the 2019 AFS was the 97.8 per cent reduction in losses which was largely attributable to the transparency drive.

Also, another bold step in Mallam Kyari’s transparency drive was the launch of the Open Data portal on the NNPC website where such information as staff strength and asset base is published. He topped that up with having the Corporation listed as an Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Partner Company, joining a group of over 65 extractive companies, state-owned enterprises, commodity traders, financial institutions and industry partners who commit to observing the EITI principles by promoting transparency in all facets of their operations and transactions.

As he pointed out at a recent engagement with selected newsmen, “there is little or no information you want about our operations that is not already in the public domain. I can say that we have kept our word as far as transparency and accountability are concerned.”

Going by the way Kyari has driven his Transparency, Accountability, and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda, it is with high expectations that Nigerians rise to celebrate him as the face of a new NNPC poised to deliver on its promise of touching lives in more meaningful ways.