…Meets Buhari in Aso Rock
…As Baru explains private marketer’s involvement in kerosene products
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA: THE new Group Managing Director, GMD of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mallam Kyari who assumed office on Monday after a formal handing over ceremony by the immediate past GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru at the Corporation’s headquarters, promised to automate all the NNPC systems to stamp out corruption in the sector.
Speaking with State House correspondents alongside his predecessor, Dr. Baru, the New NNPC boss said that he was aware of the enormous responsibility before him and promised not to disappoint President Buhari and the country on the confidence reposted in him.
He explained that he will work closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to fight corruption in the corporation.
According to him, “We are going to work with EFCC and other institutions. Institutions that are involved in controlling and contending any form of corruption in our system.
“This is in line with Mr. President Cardinal principle to contain with corruption so that this country can benefits from Is resources.
“There will be corruption where there is no discretion. So we will automate our systems and processes so that discretion is reduced to the barest minimum.
” We need the help of EFCC wherever we see infractions in our systems, compromise our systems.”
On the expected responsibility, he said, “It is clear, I was part of the team that has been working assiduously since he (former GMD) resumed office.
” I understand the gravity of the assignment given to me, the trust that is associated with this work and the high expectations of Mr President for us to make the company, a global company of excellence and to deliver to the citizenry the benefits of the oil and gas industry.
“We are focused in ensuring that we deliver this in the shortest possible time and in the most efficient way. I assure all of us that we will do this work with integrity. I will ensure that by 2023 Mr. President will look back and confirm that he has not misplaced his trust first of Dr. Baru and transferring it to us is a testament of the confidence Mr. President has for the corporation.
“We will make sure at the end of the day that the corporation becomes an integrator of the economy.”
Also speaking, the former GMD, Dr. Baru said it was his expectation that the new management of NNPC would do more than double what he did.
He said, “I am not setting a high target from them but I know this team are the jet factor fellows, that will zoom up, dive, come back and steady the corporation and make sure it becomes definitely the largest in Africa and make serious contribution to Nigeria’s economy.
“We expect where we have stabilize the supply of fuel to the economy, they will make sure they start exporting products to Neigbouring countries. I am so convinced that this team will deliver.
“The purpose of coming to see Mr. President is to carry out a symbolic handover of the new team led by Mallam Malee Kyari to Mr. President.
” No matter what we did in terms of transition, they have their own programmes and vision of what they want to do. We are now the airbus pilots that are relaxing and cruising at an altitude and you cannot give them a vision of the jet fighter pilot that the NNPC requires.
“They will engage Mr president at the appropriate time and get his blessing. I spent 1,099 days on the saddle of the corporation and can’t wait to present young vibrant team.”
Involvement of private marketers in kerosene products
Baru explained why the corporation allowed private marketers to be involved in kerosene products.
He said,” Kerosene is all over now. When we came there was so much difference between what we were selling kerosene and what was available. Fuel at depots when we came on board was N76 per liter but it was settling between 250-300, so the common man was not getting the kerosene.
“So all what the government and NNPC was doing was bleeding and we resolved to make it available. That was why we invited the private sector to come in, so NNPC stepped back and they were selling at N210, etc. what we did was allow the market forces to determine the price.”