Abuja — Mallam Mele Kyari assumed duty yesterday as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with a pledge to continuously entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence across all the oil corporation's operations.
Kyari, who promised to make the nation's refineries functional by 2023, said in a few weeks he would unveil his agenda for the nation's oil sector.
He spoke in Abuja at a valedictory ceremony for his predecessor, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
Kyari said: "In the next couple of weeks, the COOs (chief operating officers) will join me to unveil the NNPC Roadmap towards global excellence and the roadmap will guide our aspirations to achieve sustained outstanding performance to meet the short and long term growth objectives of the corporation as we transit to a national energy champion."
He said it was painful that nearly all the country's petroleum products' requirements were being imported despite the existence of three refineries and the numerous attempts by successive governments to encourage the establishment of private refineries, adding that this has to stop.
He said: "We will see to the successful completion of the ongoing rehabilitation of our refineries within record time and we will further encourage the establishment of private refineries either as independents or in some form of public private collaboration before 2023.
"We will also provide every necessary support to the Dangote Refinery in order to achieve timely start-up. This will be in the upstream sector where we will continue to work towards resolutions of issues around stability of the fiscal regimes, passage of the outstanding petroleum laws and engage partners to sustain the current self-funding model and improve production.
"This we believe will help in making our nation a net exporter of petroleum products within the life of this administration."
Kyari said in line with the country's aspiration to grow its hydrocarbon reserve base to 40 billion barrels by 2020, he would sustain the tempo of the ongoing exploration campaign in the frontier basins, especially the Gongola Basin, President Muhammadu Buhari had flagged off the spudding of the Kolmani River II early this year.
"We will particularly focus on the growth of NPDC and to make it among the top three crude oil producing companies in the country within three years. On the gas sector, our strategic aspiration is to open the domestic market further to support improved power generation and the growth of gas-based industries," he stated.
Kyari also expressed the readiness of NNPC to partner and support stakeholders along the power value chain to guarantee improved power generation and transmission and boost industrial growth.
He said: "NNPC will seek to exploit the untapped opportunities in renewable energy value chain to promote investment diversification in clean energy. This is aimed at transforming the corporation from oil and gas entity to an energy corporation.
"Under my leadership, NNPC will strive to be more credible, competent and accountable institution that manages the oil resources on behalf of the citizens of Nigeria in accordance with its mandate and the core persuasions of President Muhammadu Buhari."
He said he had a strong foundation to build on and willing partners to work with, adding that building on his experience in EITI, reporting and close collaboration with NEITI, NNPC would be committed to joining the EITI's targeted effort on state-owned enterprise (SOE) transparency as a means of sharing best practices and improving disclosure of information on the management of the nation's oil and gas revenues.
He said for NNPC to maintain positive image, there must be transparency, shared values of integrity and professionalism among its members of staff.
"My dear colleagues, we know that corruption cannot thrive without discretion. We will ensure all avenues for discretion are eliminated by continuously improving our systems and processes. Where serious infraction occurs, we will ensure the full weight of the law is applied," Kyari said.
The new GMD thanked the president for his trust and confidence in him and his team to take the NNPC and the oil and gas industry to the next level.
He also wished Baru and the outgoing chief operating officers of NNPC subsidiaries a blissful retirement.
Speaking earlier, Baru thanked his COOs who were retiring along with him, saying together they had achieved lofty heights for the corporation.
He said they had built the foundation for a transparent organisation, adding that he had no doubt that his successor and his team would build on it.
Baru expressed the confidence that Kyari would take the corporation forward, explaining that working with his successor in the last three years gave him the assurance that Buhari made an appropriate choice.