NNPC: Buhari gives A Clue Of His Ministerial List And Appointment Into Government Agencies

 By Stephen Ubanna

President Muhammadu  Buhari, who is in  a hurry to fix  the nation’s battered economy in the next four  years ,  appear to have given a clue that technocrats would dominate  his ministerial list  and appointment into government agencies,  with the recent appointment OF Mele Kolo Kyari, a former General Marketing, Crude Oil Marketing as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC , and the reconstitution of the management team.  

This may have given hope  to Nigerian Customs personnel  that if he also decides to drop Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General , Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, he may appoint a serving Comptroller,  which is an equivalent of a General Manager  in the state oil Company ,who has functioned in the  government revenue generating and enforcement  agency in various roles  to take over fro.  

The Katsina born Nigerian President may have disappointed politicians  who had reached out to their contacts in the Presidency, particular, some of  the former members of the kitchen  cabinet  who still have  his ear   to put in words for them to be given appointment in NNPC.

 He may have been encouraged to thinker with the option of  bringing  in  more technocrats into  the new government  because of the Performance of  Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, a World Bank, top Executive, and former minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy  and Akiwumi Adesina,  another former minister of  Agriculture  and Rural Development and now President , African Development Bank, ADB in the erstwhile Goodluck Jonathan Administration.

Mele Kolo Kyari: Waiting On The Wings To Take Over As NNPC, GMD

  Note that most of the policies  that had been implemented  by the President in the last four yes on the economy, particular the Agricultural sector and the introduction of the Bank Verification Notice, BVN, were initiated by the duo in their  respective ministries  while still inoffice .

It is not surprising why the President  may have sent a signal to the politicians lobbying for appointment  to forget  about  the key ministries, agencies and departments that are   vital  to the growth of the nation’s economy which he insists  would be manned by technocrats.

Kyari , is expected  to work with Umar Isa Ajiya,  Chief Financial officer, North west, Roland Onoriode Ewubare, south-south,  COO, Upstream, Yinusa Yakubu, COO, Refining and Petrochemicals, north central,  Yusuf Usman,COO, Gas and Power, north east, according to Ndu Ughamadu, the Corporation General Manager, Public Affairs Department, PAD,  in the  reconstituted management team.

Others on the list  are   Lawrencia Nwadiabuwa Ndupu, south east, COO, Ventures,Adeyemi Adetunji, south west, COO, Downstream  and  Farouk  Garba, COO,  Corporate Services.

Iapparent reaction to the appointment of  Kyari, a noted  technocrat as the GMD,  of NNPC,  Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, a former GMD, of the Corporation and now Secretary  General, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC,  described it  as ”surprising  but  a deserving position” for him.

The former NNPC, boss , disclosed  that  the President has made a  bold Statement  that  ”exemplary record  and exceptional performance will count in his appointments  this time around,   stressing  that   the new NNPC  boss  had worked  in a variety  of strategic  Departments   where  he had distinguished himself as a great performer.

 Kyari’s  appointment may not have taken off with immediate effect. this is because Mikanti Baru, the incumbent  Group Managing Director tenure would elapse on July 18, 2019, when he would proceed on on retirement. Business analysts believe  that  the date of resumption  which was pegged on Baru’s retirement would give him an opportunity to understudy him  and properly monitor  the running of the Corporation in the last three years by him  to ensure a smooth transition.

There is no gainsaying the fact, that  Baru, a first class Engineer , may have done creditably well as a GMD, of NNPC, but  insiders disclosed that he knew that  the Corporation was mired  with ”corruption, gross inefficiency, underinvestment  and under-utilisation of Staff but there was no much he could do.

Giving himself a pass mark over the running of the Corporation , an elated Baru disclosed that the relative peace in the Niger Delta region, home of oil and Gas , , in Nigeria,  has shored up the country’s crude oil   production  to about  2.1 million barrels per day , mbpd, and 2.3 mbpd   in condensate.  He further said that the Corporation under his watch   ramped  up Crude  to about  3,00,000 bpd.

He is optimistic that the oil production  will still go  up  with the search for oil in the Gongola Basin in north eastern state of Bauchi ,  as the Corporation may  hit 14,000fttarget  by next week.  

The out-going NNPC , boss may have used the opportunity of his retirement to give  an insight  of the cost of producing  a  barrel of crude oil , which  had dropped from $27 to $22and moving towards  the United States bench mark of $20. He noted with NIETI, BPP, the  Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC,  and Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission, EFCC,  looking into the activities   of the Corporation  in  the last three years in open competitive bidding processes, the country has statrted  getting  its value worth  in the oil sector.

According to him, ”it has encouraged Foreign Direct Investment, FDI,  that has hit $7 billion this year alone”. He may won himself into the heart of Nigerians when he disclosed that   the” monthly audited  financial report  of  the  Organisation  is becoming more accountable  to  the government and the people”.  Baru, may have gladdened heart of Nigerians , when he revealed that NNPC,  could be  an integrated company going by the investments  on ground. 

He has every reason to think so, as the Corporation currently supplies   over 80 percent   of gas to  the 21  gas driven power generating plants in the country, thus contributing significantly  to  the nation’s power supply. One area that the outgoing NNPC boss , has said to have  received bashing from critics was  the offshore processing of the country’s crude oil into petroleum products for local consumption which was described as  a wate of resources.

 The former NNPC GMD, however, thinks differently.  He opined  that ”with  the Direct Purchase  Supply Regime  that replaced  the Offshore Processing  Agreements, OPA,  where the country’s crude   was sold in a barter  arrangement  for negotiated products with reputable refineries and traders,  is saving the country  over  $1.2 billion annually.

In spite of his claims that the country  has made much savings by refining its crude for negotiated products abroad,  Nigerians  would not take it as  they want the  Buhari Administration to fix the three ailing  refineries  without further delay to create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths  in the country .

 He may  read the handwriting on the wall that Nigerians are becoming impatient that he had suggested  Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, intervention that has funds for such. Alternatively, he wants  the government to utilise the country’s Excess Crude  Account   to rehabilitate the   refineries instead of sharing it with the other tiers of government under pressure.  He maintained  that  an” investment  in the refinery   is worth it  and can be repaid if well managed”.

Many believe that Baru, the former GMD, of NNPC,  could open up because he is no longer in the employ of the government where he could made to cover up a lot of things under secrecy oath. He had revealed that $1 billion was taken out  from the Account  about a year  to fund  the Islamic Fundamentalists, popular Boko Haran Insurgency in the north east.

Political analysts, would want  Kyari, the new NNPC, boss, take up the matter of rehabilitating the refineries with Godwin Emefiele, the governornor of the CBN, and also  drum into the ears of the President about the benefits of fixing the refineries.  

Political watchers, fear that Kyari  might find it difficult to confront Buhari on such a sensitive issue as he needed to work himself into  his heart ” to be confirmed in office.  

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