Nigeria: Global EITI Sets Agenda for New NNPC Chief

The globàl transparency group, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), has set an agenda for the incoming Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, ahead of his inauguration next Monday.

The EITI urged Mr Kyari to use his new appointment to sustain the reforms in the oil and gas industry, particularly by bringing about greater transparency and accountability in NNPC's management of Nigerian oil and gas revenues.

Also, oil industry operators asked the new NNPC chief to provide leadership for the oil and gas industry to speak with one voice against those issues negatively impacting the growth and development of the country's oil and gas industry.

The Norwày-based EITI stated this in a congratulatory message sent to Mr Kyari on his appointment, while the operators spoke in separate speeches at the ongoing 2019 Nigeria oil and gas conference in Abuja.

"We look forward to working with the new NNPC GMD to build on his earlier engagement in the EITI's targeted effort on commodity trading transparency," the EITI said in a statement.

The commodity trading transparency initiative, the group said, had contributed to the global momentum in the extractive industries across the world.

The NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the EITI has already extended an invitation to the newly appointed NNPC chief to join its targeted effort on State Owned Enterprise (SOE) transparency initiative.

Mr Ughamadu said the initiative will provide an avenue for sharing best practices and will go a long way in contributing to shaping the evolving global norms in the extractive industries.

The EITI said its Secretariat was ready to provide support for NNPC's efforts to achieve disclosure of information on its management of Nigeria's oil and gas revenues in accordance with the standard set by the global transparency organisation.

Provide quality leadership - Operator

During the conference, the Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, Wale Tinubu, urged the incoming GMD to ensure he provides the leadership for the industry "to speak with one voice against government's continued payment of fuel subsidy."

The embattled businessman, who was sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission for unethical practices, said the country's moribund refineries need to be made to function and the pipelines infrastructure made to work.

"The industry must have a voice on this matter, rather than accept what the politicians are saying. The industry has a voice that needs to be heard," he said.

Mr Tinubu described Mr Kyari as a blessing to the industry, not only for his experience, but also his positive disposition towards industry reforms as well as his tough, but shrewd contracts negotiation capabilities.

The outgoing GMD of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, who also spoke at the event, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari's confidence reposed in him by allowing him to nominate his successor.

Mr Baru said the emergence of Mr Kyari as the new GMD marks the first time the NNPC will be having a smooth transition between its outgoing and incoming leadership.

He said the emergence of Mr Kyari as his successor will be good for the industry, going by the acknowledgement by the industry of his capacity and qualities.

Mr Baru is scheduled to retire from the NNPC on Sunday after attaining the 60 years retirement age, while Mr Kyari is expected to take over the reins at the NNPC on Monday.

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