Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has identified areas that require the immediate attention of Mele Kyari, the new Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Kyari, whose appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, takes effect from today, July 8, replaces Maikanti Baru, who has been on the saddled for nearly four years.
Kyari, a geologist, until his new position, was group general manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of NNPC and also doubled, since May 13, 2018, as Nigeria’s national representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC), and therefore expectedly stepping with a wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry.
Stating PENGASSAN’s position on Monday, Lumumba Okugbawa, the general secretary of the association, who described the appointment as well deserved, however, pointed to the challenges that the new management should urgently address.
According to PENASSAN, challenges associated with pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, inadequate infrastructure, pricing uncertainties, and obsolete refineries as well as the contentious fuel subsidy issues and resting of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) are issues the Nigerian masses expect the new NNPC board to champion in order to further bolster the economy.
The association, however, welcomed Kyari’s appointment, saying it was a recognition of his 27 years of contributions to the NNPC, the nation’s oil and gas sector and the economy which depends majorly on the industry.
“Kyari as a quintessential crude oil marketer with prerequisite certification and outfield pedigree in petroleum economics and crude oil and gas trading, whose knowledge, wisdom, steadfastness, and purposefulness to the corporation, the oil and gas industry and the nation as a whole, is being rewarded by this new appointment,” said PENGASSA.
It further noted that the appointment did not come as a surprise; as it is a testament to hard work, the association having watched the steady and impactful progress made by the new GMD over the years.
“We are aware of how Kyari led the team that proposed and managed the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement of petroleum products from 2016 to date, a process that saved the nation of over $1 million in 2016 as a result of his handling of the crude oil SWAP arrangement with products.
It is on this premise that PENGASSAN believes that Kyari’s testament to exemplary record and exceptional performance over the years in different strategic roles will be of immense benefit to not just the corporation, but the nation’s oil and gas industry and the nation’s economy,” the association said.
To the outgoing GMD Maikanti Baru the association while commending him for his contributions to the growth of the industry said that history will remember him for his good works that brought stability to the industry in terms of industrial relations management and free flow of refined products. PENGASSAN also described its partnership with the outgoing GMD as legendary and which they will forever remain grateful, wishing Baru best of luck in his future endeavours.