Why President Tinubu Reappointed Kyari, GMD, NPCL Despite Calls for His Sack By National Assembly Lawmakers and Other Nigerians

 By Lateef Adegbite

Not many were surprised that Mele Kolo Kyari, the Borno state born Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, now baptised Nigerian Petroleum Company Limited, NPCL, with the passage of the 2021, Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by the National Assembly and signed into Law by former President Muhammadu Buhari in August, 2021, would be reappointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu despite calls by the National Assembly Lawmakers and other Nigerians  to sack him.

 The Lawmakers are not happy with the NPCL GMD, that despite the huge amount which the Senate had put at N12  trillion  that had been spent for the Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, of the country’s refining and  petrochemical plants between 2010 and now, the situation o the refineries remains worrisome.

Kyari: Reappointed GMD,NNPCL By President Tinubu

 Until Kyari was appointed as the GMD of NPCL in 2017, there were said to be other GMDs who were involved in the execution f the TAM of the refineries. Among them were Sanusi Makindo, Shehu Adan, Augustine.O. Onwon, Andrew Yakubu and Ibe Kachukwu. Others were Maintanti Baru, and Kyari, the incumbent GMD. Put together, all the NPCL, GMD, were said to have spent more than   $592 million, €4.8 million and £3.4 million on the TAM, of the nation’s moribund refineries with none operating.

The Senate Committee on Finance   we whore said to have described the TAM of the country’s moribund refineries as a bottomless pit for the government were said to have called for’’ the privatisation of the oil refining and petrochemical plants to save funds as it has become obvious that NPCL under the Leadership of Kyari has failed on its mandate.

The Lagos state born Nigerian President believed by Omo N’Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokolo, Wwuare II, Oba of Benin, was ordained by God ‘’ to rule Nigeria’’ , may have given Nigerians the impression at the G20, Economic Summit in Berlin, Germany that the Nigerian moribund refineries would be privatised as he was said to have assured  international investors  from the G20 nations  that their money  is safe  within the borders of Nigeria.

 The Nigerian President, who had opened up during a panel discussion on ‘’Fostering Local Value Chains and Investments in the African Continent- The Role of the Germany Private Sector at the G20 Economic Summit hosted by Chancellor OLaf Scholz, of the European Union, EU, country   in Berlin had said that Nigeria is ready ‘’to leverage in all its advantages to become a home for investors’’.

As a prelude to giving the foreign investors hope that there was no cause to worry about their money because of the country’s security challenges, may have encouraged the Nigerian Navy which has Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, as the Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, was said to deploy 13 ships, two helicopters and 88 boats  into Nigerian waters to effectively battle crude oil thieves , piracy, sea robbery and other violent crimes  in the Nigerian waters.

 Bello Matawalle, a former governor of Zamfara state and now minister of State, Defence, who had described the recent CNS Sea Exercise 2023, Code named ‘’Exercise Nchekwa Oshimiri ‘’, in Ibo Local parlance had said that  the exercise was aimed at ridding the country’s maritime domain of crimes in all its ramifications, ‘’to ensure that the  country is safe   for Commerce, industry  and other economic activities’’.

President Tinubbu may have sent a message to Nigerians that the bulks stops on his table. There are indications that Vice President Kashim Ibrahim, who incidentally was a former governor of Borno state may have put  in a word to the resident to give him another opportunity since he is making all the necessary efforts to fix the refineries.

I n reappointing Kyari a he GMD of NPCL, which takes effect from December 1, 2023, Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman   said   it is in compliance with section 59 (2) of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, 2021. He noted that  the President  anticipates  the fullest measure of  compliance  with the Administration’s performance -driven  and results -orientated mandate  of  its renewed hope  agenda in the implementation  of  the  country  energy policy  that wil moneteize  all available  oil and gas resources  of today while paving way  for the total  exploitation  of  new and cleaner  energy  sources for tomorrow by the ne NPCL team,   which ha Pius Akinyelure,  seasoned and distinguished Administrator and oil industry PR actioner  as the Chairman.

Going by the Nigerian President’s style of appointment of Aides in the last  six months  where the likes of Wale Edun, who was first appointed as Special Adviser  on Monetary Policy and later elevated to enviable position  of minister of Finance and Coordinating minister of the economy and Zaach Adedeji, who was  appointed as Special Adviser on Revenue and moved to be the Chairman of  theFederal Inland Revenue Services  , FIRS, appears to have given Nigerians  clue of the person  who may likely occupy the exalted office  of the GMD, of NPCL, if  Kyari is sacked  by President Tinubu .

mrs. Olu Verheijen: Special Adviser To President Tinubu on Energy

The pendulum appears to be swinging between Mrs. Olu Verheijen, who currently   holds the position of Managing Director at Latimer Energy, a Consulting firm and at present Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on the Energy and Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC.

There is no gain saying the fact either Mrs.Verheijen, the President’s Special Advise on Energy, who has put in close to 20 years   in the gas and renewable sectors across the Sub-Saharan African Continent and who has been talking about investment opportunities with an estimated US. $55.2 billion    projected by 20230 in the nation’s oil and gas industry is set to achieve the target.  She had said that US $13.5 billion   is expected to be invested by the International Oil Companies, IOC, operating in the country between now and 2024.

It would be recalled that during Consultations with   the IOCs and shared insights into the challenges and barriers affecting their   investment strategies, she has got to know much about their planned projects. Collectively, the participating oil Companies were said to have said to the hearing of the Nigerian President Special Energy Adviser on Energy   that they will ensure the delivery of 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day   by December, 2024, positioning Nigeria well ahead of the President’s electioneering Campaign promise of the 2.6 million per day by 2027.

 Indeed, the proposed measures if implemented by the oil Companies   are expected to cause a 100% increase in gas production in the country by 2027, thus exceeding President Tinubu’s pledge of 20% growth in the country’s oil and gas sector.

Mrs. Verheijen, may have won the heart of the Nigerian President to head NPCL, after the exit of Kyari, and Verheijen may have the magic wand. This is because because of her comments that   the country is faced with a revenue crisis which is impacting on all Nigerians., thus encouraging the Nigerian President seek for ways to grow the nation’s revenue and foreign exchange to stabilize the economy and further strengthen the naira.

Given that oil and gas producers operating in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting West African country, which is the most populous in the African Continent, which Mrs. Verheijen, had said   will help fast -track bold reforms that will unlock investments, had said that it would restore and grow the country’s oil and gas production in the short, medium and long term.

Determined  to enhance  the investment  environment  in Nigeria, and positioning  the country  as the preferred  destination  in Africa for the energy sector  and achieve the anticipated  $13.5 billion  in the short term investment components , currently in the pipeline  of the oil Companies may pave the way  for the delivery  of  the 2.1 million barrels per day  by December 2024, barring any unforeseen challenges, the Nigerian President Special Adviser had said.

Engr. Gbenga Komolafe: CEO, NUPRC

Eng. Gbenga Komolafe, who is a fellow of Nigerian Society of  Engineers,and Council of Registered Society of Engineers, on his part was said have been instrumental   in giving the NUPRC the needed impetus  to achieve its mandate . Until his appointment by former President Buhari to head the new Company with the unbundling of NPCL, he was said to have held various top Management positions, including Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company, PPMC, and Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF.

Described as an expert in institutional process study and designs to curb revenue Leakages and attainment of optimum national productivity. Recall that as NPCL, Group General Manager, Crude Oil, Marketing Division, he was said to have facilitated   the oil octopus’ optimum revenue for the Federation    ad performed transparently   that was said too have been acknowledged by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Initiative in its report within the period he had occupied the office.

He was said to have initiated strategic sales and retail plans and Coordinated implementation of achievement of set revenue targets from downstream supply and distribution of refined petroleum products for nationwide consumption.  He was said to have also initiated operations policies for effective petroleum products supply and bridging the inner parts of the country and price equalisation management nationwide and pioneered successful implementation of electronic tracking of petroleum products distribution nationwide that was said to have save the country billions of naira through his institutional process expertise.  Nigerians are of the view that the duo are good to take NPC, which has never paid any revenue into the Federation Account to another level.

With the reappointment of  Kyari as the GMD,of NPCL,  Tinubu may have finally closed the chapter for a successor  for him, which is an indirect way of  telling the Godswill Akpabio , a former  governor of Akwa  Ibom le enate  members to  sheath their  sword  and work with him to see how the nation’s moribund refineries will resume operations.    

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