“That finding is great, it’s a great showing of a team. A team that is unbreakable can be a team of achievers. You took the saddle of NNPCL, make a team out of Mele Kyari and his people. I say Mele Kyari, congratulations” – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a narrative that unfolds at the intersection of global expectations and astute leadership decisions, President Tinubu’s foresight in reappointing Malam Mele Kolo Kyari as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has been acknowledged by Dr. Kabir Kabo Usman, a policy analyst and oil and gas business expert. This strategic move not only solidifies Nigeria’s position in the international energy arena but also reflects a nuanced understanding of global economic dynamics.
As a policy analyst, Kabir Kabo offers an incisive commentary on the alignment between Tinubu’s vision and the international discourse on effective corporate leadership. The reappointment is not merely a national event; it is a development that resonates with global experts who recognise the impact of stable and visionary leadership on the interconnected dynamics of the oil and gas sector.
In a testament to Tinubu’s discerning leadership and keen eye for talent, the reappointment of Kyari as the chief executive officer of NNPCL is an endorsement of both a visionary leader and a nation’s commitment to excellence. Now as always Tinubu’s commitment to recognising and nurturing talents is exemplified in the reappointment of Kyari.
This alliance of leadership underscores a shared vision for a Nigeria where capable individuals are empowered to drive transformative change, contributing not only to corporate success but also to the overall prosperity of the nation. The decision echoing from the highest echelons of Nigeria’s leadership, President Tinubu, has bestowed a resounding vote of confidence in Kyari by reappointing him as head of NNPCL.
This not only reaffirms Kyari’s exceptional leadership but also underscores the synergy between corporate excellence and governmental foresight.
Kyari’s transformative leadership during his initial tenure resonated with Tinubu, reinforcing the notion that talent and strategic vision are crucial in steering Nigeria towards sustainable growth.
The president’s endorsement vindicates the impact of Malam Kyari’s leadership on both NNPCL and the broader economic agenda.
Under Kyari’s visionary guidance, NNPCL has weathered industry challenges and evolved into a symbol of resilience and innovation. The reappointment reaffirms Kyari’s unwavering commitment to steering NNPCL towards success. Notably, Kyari has made remarkable strides in NNPCL. His achievements cut across human capacity development, gas development, refinery rehabilitation, and initiatives to support the downstream sector.
At the upstream sector, precisely exploration in the inland basins. There was a discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II in Bauchi. The drilling of the well culminated in oil being found in commercial quantity on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin in the Northeast. This was a landmark achievement for NNPCL and the discovery of hydrocarbons in commercial quantity could lead to an increased foreign investment and employment in the zone.
In May 2021, Kyari led the company to sign a series of agreements with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and other Production Sharing Companies (PSC) partners. This resolved the disputes around another deep off-shore block, OML 118, leading to the renewal of that acreage plus the prospect of a new $10 billion investment in the development of the Bonga South-east Field to boost the nation’s oil reserves and production. Another achievement of Mallam Kyari is that he was able to lead a resolution of a 1993 PSC dispute which holds over 90% of our Deepwater production which helped pave the way for unlocking over 7 Billion barrels of oil, and 20Tcf of gas reserves.
This translated into a potential investment of up to US$40Bn over the next five (5) years, and at the same time relieved NNPCL of almost US$10bn in contingent liabilities. Similarly, his leadership led to the introduction of a real-time command and control center responsible for monitoring, locating, and reporting suspicious activities to various security agencies for intervention. These efforts have led to an increase in oil production, recovering to 1.6 million barrels per day at the close of the 2022.
Audacious as it may sound, fuel importation in Nigeria will become a thing of the past, what a way to maintain your position as NNPCL GCEO than to face the National Assembly making such a gigantic declaration? All things being equal by the end of 2024 Nigeria will be self-sufficient in refining activities. As stated by the man of the moment himself, “I can confirm to you that by the end of December this year we will start the Port Harcourt refinery, early 2024 Warri refinery and by December 2024 Kaduna refinery will come into operation. This is our commitment and you can hold us accountable”.
As the custodian of Nigeria’s vast oil and gas resources, NNPCL plays a pivotal role in the nation’s economic prosperity. Kyaris’s leadership has been characterised by a holistic approach, considering not only the economic aspects but also the broader social and environmental impacts of the company’s operations.
In the spirit of responsible and sustainable business practices, Kyari has consistently emphasised the importance of community engagement, environmental stewardship, and corporate social responsibility.
This holistic approach aligns with the evolving expectations of stakeholders in the global energy arena.
On the global stage, where economic landscapes are intricately connected, the reappointment of Kyari aligns with the expectations of industry experts, financial analysts, and diplomatic circles. As Kyari embarks on this renewed term, the global business community eagerly anticipates the unfolding of innovative strategies and groundbreaking initiatives. Their ability to balance short-term gains with long-term sustainability positions NNPCL as a trailblazer in the industry.
Kabir Kabo Usman, PhD,
former DG/CEO of Nigeria’s Centre for Management Development (CMD), a petrochemical and hydrocarbon chemistry expert, writes from Abuja.