Nigeria: Buhari Has Never Interfered in NNPC's Affairs - Mele Kyari

Mele Kyari.

The new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, on Thursday, said President Muhammadu Buhari has never interfered in the affairs of the corporation since he became president in 2015.

While Mr Buhari appointed Ibe Kachikwu as the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources on November 11, 2015, Mr Buhari served as the substantive minister of petroleum in his first tenure. The NNPC is directly under the ministry.

Mr Buhari, in February, won a second term in office and recently named Mr Kyari as the new boss of the corporation.

Mr Kyari spoke on the the president's role during a meeting at the 3rd African Anti-Corruption Day organised by the EFCC in Abuja.

"President like Muhammadu Buhari has never asked us to do anything in our transactions," Mr Kyari said.

"He has never sent anyone to compromise any of our processes, and therefore for us, this is a huge challenge that allows us to be self-accounting. We are accountable to this country," he added.

According to him, the president's gesture is a challenge that would enable the NNPC "to be self-accounting."

"And therefore we have no further excuse than to align this and deliver on this," he said.

Mr Kyari, who led an 11-man team to the discussion, said the national oil company focused on "open government partnership such that whatever we are doing, we make it open and transparent to the rest of the citizens".

"And in doing that, it means making things open and transparent, so that the issues of corruption become very secondary and it would vanish on their own."

He also explained that the initiative enables the citizens to have a say in the transactions of the government.

He mentioned several states that had adopted the Open Government Partnership initiative.

He said: "Kaduna, Kano, Imo, Anambra, Edo, Jigawa, Niger, Ebonyin, and Cross River. What that means is that citizens would now have a say, and when citizens now have to say in your transactions, corruption becomes minimised."

'Corruption thrives with discretion.'

Mr Kyari, who recently took over the reins of the corporation, also said corruption would continue to thrive in Nigeria "if public officials continue to use act on their authority and judgment".

He noted that "once you take away discretion, there is no corruption."

"What we did in NNPC was to make sure that we reduce discretion to the barest minimum and we are also lucky to have a president like Muhammadu Buhari who has never asked us to do anything in our transactions."

He assured that the NNPC is willing to work and support the anti-graft agency with data and information "to bring anyone to book that has stolen anything from us."

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