National Assembly Lawmakers And Other Nigerians Put Pressure On President Tinubu To Sack Kyari,NNPCL,GMD

By Suleiman Umaru and Lateef degbite

This is not the best of times for Mele Kolo Kyari, the north eastern state of Borno born Group Managing Director, GMD, of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, now baptised Nigerian Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, signed into Law by former President Muhammadu Buhari, in August, 2021.

 The National Assembly Lawmakers appears to have joined forces with other Nigerians both in the political class to mount pressure on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to sack the NNPC FMD, described in industry circles as a quintessential crude oil marketer who had been on the saddle between July 7, 2019 and now.


Aware that he had traversed  the entire chain  of the nation’ petroleum industry and a one-time head of the agency  Crude oil marketing department with  prerequisite  certification  and outfield pedigree in petroleum Economics and  crude oil and gas trading, the Lawmakers and the other aggrieved  Nigerians appear no longer interested in his Leadership of the agency because of his inability to fix  the  country’s moribund refineries at PortHarcourt, Kaduna and Warri, Delta state with a total refining capacity of  450,000b/d, despite the huge amount that had been  spent by the past and present Administration to revive the abandoned  refineries.

While being grilled by the Lawmakers over the total contract sum of rehabilitating the nation’s refineries to determine the actual amount that had been spent by the past and present Tinubu’s Administration, Kyari, the NNPCL, GMD, was said to have disclosed that $1.55 billion had been spent so far.

 Abdullahi  Sule, an Engr, who had won  as the March 10, 2023,  governorship election  of Nasarawa state state, but sacked by the three-man Election  Petition Tribunal  which was later upturned by  a Division of the Appeal Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  had told Channels Television  in an Interview that the  Administration spent  more  than the sum of $19 billion   to fix the country’s three major  refineries in eight years  but none became operational until he left office on May 29, 2023.

Godswill Akpabio: Senate President

The Nigerian Senate under the Leadership of Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state, who had been in the public eye in the recent time, had threatened on Wednesday, November 23, 2023, to sack and jail the non-performing GMD, of NNPCL and other top officials of agencies in the nation’s sector who are involved in the Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, projects of the country’s refineries over the last eight years.

The Senate ad-hoc Committee, investing the various TAM projects of the three moribund refineries in the country between 2010 and now may have sensitised the Lawmakers to support the removal of the NNPCL top officials. The Committee which may have given a different compared to the amount quoted by Engr Engr. Sule, governor of the north central state of Nasarawa to have been spent to repair the country dead refineries had revealed based on available records obtained from NNPCL and other relevant sources   that that the Corporation   had spent over $592 million, 4.8 million Euro and 3.4 million, United Kingdom, UK, pound sterling’s to the rehabilitate the refineries, yet none of the plants is working.

This may have informed why the aggrieved Senators had unanimously thrown their weight and supported the move  for the sack of the Kyari, the GMD, and his Team  including the Nigerian  Midstream  and Downstream, NMDRA and the  Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission. And their subsidiaries.

Until the aggrieved Senators took the bold initiative to support the call on the Nigerian President who is under intense pressure to sack Kyari, GMD, of NPCL, who have had tried to brank into the ranks of officials the Presidency with his statement that Tinubu will rehabilitate one of the country’s moribund refineries before the end of the year.

He may have won the heart of members of the House of Representative Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream who had said that the April 2023, set for the completion to the rehabilitation of the $1.5 billion PortHarcourt refinery was achievable had turned out to be a fluke.

Senator Heineken  Lokpobiri,  minister of state, Petroleum Resources, Oil, who had been  under pressure  from  the President to ensure that that the refineries located  in PortHarcourt , Kaduna an Warri, are operational  ha told those that care to listen  that Kyari, GMD, NNPCL and his Management Team  should be held accountable  if the December,  2023 deadline   for rehabilitating th PortHarcourt and Warri refinery , particular,  is not met.

Kyari had given the minister the impression that the two refineries which rehabilitation was initiated by the Buhari’s Administration would be completed as part of the Presidential directive.

The minister who had said that he is not directly responsible for the repairs of the refineries but NPCL, had said that that he is relying on the report sent to his office.

Hear him: They have told me that PortHarcourt refineries would undergo three phases in the rehabilitation process but phase II and III, will be ready   to be ready in 2024. He had qoted Kyari, the NPCL, GMD, as having confirmed that the phase I of Warri refinery would come stream before the end of 2023.

PortHarcourt Refinery Under going Rehabilitation Work

The Petroleum and Natural Gas senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN may have been carried away by the NPCL GMD, repeated promises that the refineries will come on stream as scheduled that it had asked  the Federal government to keep to the promise to ensure that the PortHarcourt and Warri refines come on stream by December , 2023. The Union may have sent a warning signal to the government that if the refineries fail to start humming as promised by both the government and NPCL, they would be forced to go back to the trenches and restrategise to call out their members on strike that may paralysz furthere the nation’s oil industry.

The Buhari’s Administration inability to fix the nation’s refineries to start refining petroleum products as expected may have given room to critics of the immediate past Administration   to accuse some of its officials  of selling  upfront  468 million  barrels  of crude oil worth about $32.7 billion at  $70  per barrel and never remitted  the money into the Federation Account.

 A Reuters report in January 23, barely four months for the Buhari’ second term in office to elapse, NPCL, never remitted any funds from crude oil sales into the government coffers, thus leaving a hole in public finances at a time the then government   had repeatedly warned  that  low  oil revenues  and large deficits had left unable  to stimulate the economy.    

Available information shows that Nigeria’s oil production in the first quarter of 2023 was 284.7 million barrels, which was said to be 184.1 million barrels less than the projected output of 464.8 million barrels. The average price of the Nigerian Brent in the International oil market   in the first quarter of 2023, that Buhari was on his lap in office, was said to be $75 per barrel in the international oil market, which means that the Nigerian government ought to have earned close to $35.16 billion from crude oil sales  if it had met its production target.

Given the Nigerian determination to sustain its 1.7 million daily oil production, government, meet the demand of the Modular, private and the existing refineries expected to come on stream soon, may have informed why the Lagos state born Nigerian President, has approved the sale of more oil and gas that had been abandoned  over the years  by the Shell Petroleum Development Company  and other International oil Companies, IOCs, operating in Nigeria.

The Nigerian President was said to have given.The green- light for conduct of fresh marginal field bid for the gas fields which were said to have been lying fallow over the years. The Nigerian President may have had in mind the supply to Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited refinery in Ibigwe, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo state among others which has a working relationship with the Nigerian Content Monitoring Development Board and the 650,000b/d, Dangote refinery locate at Lekki, Lagos state. The two other refineries expected to come on board as soon as they start crude oil supplies from NPCL ,  include  the Edo  and Duport Midstream  Refineries.  

NPCL, was said to have specified six cargoes of 200,000b/d of crude to be supplied to the Dangote refinery built at a cost of $19 billion above the initial estimate of $14 billion and which is expected to start humming by December 2023.

Dangote refinery located at Lekki, Lagos state

While NPCL officials are working round the clock to see the private the country’s 450,000 b/d, that had been working in bits and fits over the years come back alive, the Nigerian government appears to have reached a  refinery repair deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to end the country’s importation of products.

There are indications that the Nigerian government, which is pursuing the conclusion of the deal aggressively is expected to finalise the deal ‘s details and sign the relevant documents with the Middle East country in the next six months that would put the country’s refineries on the path of processing at its total full capacity of 450,000b/d, that would go a long way to aid the economy.  

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