By Udeme Akpan, Sebastine Obasi, Mike Eboh & Ediri Ejoh
LAGOS—Stakeholders have tasked the new Group Managing Director, GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, and his team to work toward increasing exploration activities, passage of the petroleum industry bill, holding oil bid rounds, searching for oil in the frontier and other basins, appropriate legislations and incentives for gas flare down and encouragement of more indigenous participation in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
In different interviews with Vanguard yesterday, the stakeholders, including experts said the areas of concern deserve much attention in order to enhance sustainable development of the industry.
For instance, the President, National Association of Petroleum Explorers, NAPE, Mr. Ajibola Oyebamiji, who disclosed that NAPE has a lot of expectations from the new management, said: “The expectations include increase in Nigeria’s exploration activities, ensuring passage of the petroleum industry bill, frequent oil bid rounds, search for oil in the frontier and other basins, appropriate legislations and incentives for gas flare down and encouragement of more indigenous participation in the acquisition of blocks.”
Similarly, Professor Wumi Iledare, President of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics, NAEE, said the new appointments are interesting because Dr Baru announced the team, which is unusual.
He said: “I am familiar with 80 per cent of the new team and they are all insider with high degree of technical competence. I am sure there will be some degree of continuity. Interestingly too, there is a room for genuine handover, which is another plus compared to the past. This is commendable.
“However, taking NNPC to the next level requires a competent Board that is apolitical. Appointments to the Board must not be based on balancing geopolitical zones. It must necessarily be meritorious when thinking of NNPC Board of Directors.
“Again, this is the essence of the PIGB. I am hopeful that the president will have the courage to have a substantive Minister of Petroleum. NNPC agency role must be eliminated if these new technically competent NNPC management board is to deliver on the expected KPIs.
“PIGB must become law to reduce the dependence of the president on NNPC for advice. The new GMD must understand that he is first among equal and work with his team. The seven of them were on equal footing before the appointment as GGMs and MDs. He must not do divide and rule, trusting one more than the other.”
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, yesterday, also described the appointment of Mr. Kyari as the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as well-deserved and an intimation of more openness and reforms in the corporation.
In a statement in Abuja, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, noted that Kyari is a well-known transparency champion and one who enthusiastically shares the principles which underline the work of NEITI and the global EITI on good governance of the oil and gas industry
He explained that as a member of the global EITI working group on commodity trading transparency, Kyari’s appointment has placed him in a vantage position to push the frontiers of openness and to work more closely with NEITI and the global EITI to implement remedial issues in NEITI’s reports.
He added that the implementation of the findings of NEITI’s reports would not just be effective for operations of NNPC but also for optimisation of benefits of the oil and gas sector to Nigeria and Nigerians.