Nigeria's foremost Online Energy News Platform

Under Kyari, NNPC is turning the corner, embracing transparency

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) often criticised for being opaque has begun taking steps to shine the light on its activities by publishing its audited accounts and opening its data for quicker audit review.

The NNPC published on its website, the audited accounts of its subsidiaries and business divisions for 2018, signed by Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the state-owned firm. This is the first time it is doing so in 43 years in operation.

Under Kyari, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) achieved a key milestone: publishing its oil and gas report for 2018 in March 2020, nine months ahead of the EITI’s reporting deadline.

This is a first for Nigeria and an improvement in the effectiveness of its reporting under the EITI. Now NEITI seeks to publish its 2019 EITI Report even sooner, and this is largely due to cooperation with the NNPC which produces much of the data required for EITI reporting.

Upon his inauguration in 2018, Kyari said that for the NNPC to maintain a positive image, there must be transparency, shared values of integrity, and professionalism among its members of staff.

By publishing these audited accounts publicly, Kyari is making good on his word. The results released showed that its subsidiary, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), reported the most revenue of N5.04 trillion in 2018 and a profit of N1.01 trillion as against a loss of N1.65 trillion that was recorded in 2017.

Nigeria’s three refineries recorded a cumulative loss of N154 billion with the Kaduna Refinery recording zero revenue for 2018. The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), its oil production subsidiary made an after-tax profit of N179 billion for 2018 as against the N157 billion that was made in 2017.

The Pipeline Product Marketing Company (PPMC), its supply and refined petroleum products marketing subsidiary, reported revenue of N29.5 billion in 2018 as against the N113 billion that was achieved in 2017. It reported a profit after tax of N9.3 billion in 2018 as against a loss of N27 billion that was recorded in 2017.

The publication of the audited report has earned the corporation praise. Waziri Adio, the executive secretary of NEITI said in a Twitter post: “Having such disclosures is good for transparency and accountability. I congratulate Mele Kyari and his team and urge them to make this a regular practice and in open data format.”

“Nigeria publishes EITI Report in record time, setting new standards for reporting,” said Mark Robinson, executive director of EITI on a Twitter post.

Transparency non-profit, Budgit released a statement commending the NNPC for publishing the audited accounts of its subsidiaries and business divisions and also launching the OpenData segment on its website.

“There is no doubt that the Mele-Kyari led NNPC management has blazed the trail by making the audited report of all NNPC’s subsidiaries available online,” said the statement by the organisation.

At his inauguration ceremony last year, Kyari said: “My dear colleagues, we know that corruption cannot thrive without discretion. We will ensure all avenues for discretion are eliminated by continuously improving our systems and processes. Where serious infraction occurs, we will ensure the full weight of the law is applied.”

The NNPC boss seems to be removing opacity, the biggest (in)discretion that promotes corruption.