-By Felix Douglas
Mallam Mele Kyari, GMD NNPC
Mallam Mele Kyari was officially inaugurated as the 19th Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Owing to his designation as GMD of Nigeria’s state owned oil company, Kyari initiated the transparency and accountability policy.
He emphasized that transparency and accountability would be the cardinal pillars of his management. He christened it as Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) opening the books of the corporation. A feat that his predecessors did not attain while in office.
The publication of the 2018 and 2019 Audited Financial Statements (AFS) of the Corporation and its 19 subsidiaries registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 as amended alongside that of the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS), to provide clarity on Joint Venture finances. The AFS were published in the Corporation’s website for all interested parties to access and scrutinize. This is the first time the Corporation’s AFS were made public in such a manner.
The Mallam Kyari-led management also sustained the Publication of the Corporation’s Monthly Financial & Operations Reports (MFOR) in line with the TAPE vision. NNPC remains the only national oil company that publishes its financial and operations reports monthly globally which is a commendable feat under the current GMD.
One of the objectives of the GMD is the increase of national crude oil reserves to 40billion barrels. To achieve that goal, the GMD galvanized NNPC to rev up exploration work in the inland basins with the drilling of the Kolmani River II Well culminating in oil find in commercial quantity in the Upper Benue Trough.
The GMD also strategized to boost the nation’s oil production to 3million barrels per day. To achieve that target, he immediately resolved disputes around a number of oil blocks that had led to production shut-in. one of such resolution is the dispute involving Shell and Belema Oil that shut in over 30,000 barrels per day production in OML 25.
To his credit, Kyari ensured that the dispute was effectively resolved to restore production in the oil block.
Recently, in May 2021, Mallam Kyari repeated a similar feat when he led the Corporation to sign a series of agreements with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and other Production Sharing Contract (PSC) partners to resolve the disputes around another deep offshore block, OML 118, leading to the renewal of that acreage with the prospect of a new $10billion investment in the development of the Bonga South-East Field. This will further boost the nation’s oil production.
The Kyari-led management has also secured a number of alternative funding facilities for the Nigerian Production Development Company (NPDC) and some of the Joint Ventures to facilitate further development of assets.
As part of the Federal Government’s decade of gas agenda, NNPC has focused heavily on the gas sector in keeping with the aspiration to diversify the economy by transforming the nation into a gas driven economy.
In this regard, under Mallam Kyari, NNPC drove and achieved the Final Investment Decision on the NLNG Train 7 Project in December 2019. The project was on the drawing board for over 10 years. NLNG project is expected to generate over $20billion of revenue to the Government over the project’s lifecycle, 10,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs.
On 15th June, 2021, the ground-breaking ceremony of the NLNG Train 7 Project was conducted signaling the commencement of construction work on the project.
NNPC also successfully flagged-off the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project on 30th June, 2020. The project which has been described by the President as a game-changer is an integral part of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) with a capacity to transport about 2.2billion cubic feet of gas per day.
Mallam Kyari also led the Corporation to achieve a $300million reduction in the cost of the AKK Gas Pipeline contract via contract renegotiation from the initial $2.8billion.
Additional major stride in the gas sector was witnessed in late 2020 with the commissioning of the Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility (IGHF) and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Storage and Dispensing Unit. The facilities are wholly owned and constructed by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to address domestic gas supply challenges. The facilities currently deliver over 200 million standard cubic feet of dry gas per day and 330 metric tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) which is equivalent of 16 units of 20tonnes LPG trucks per day into the domestic market.
In order to provide an alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) as the sole automotive fuel and reduce the huge importation bill of the product, the GMD led NNPC to key into the Year /Decade of Gas initiative spearheaded by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to launch the Autogas initiative. It executed a JV agreement with Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) for marketing and distribution of the product to get as many Nigerians as possible to migrate to the use of gas as automotive fuel.
Mallam Kyari heralded 2021 with a significant step in the direction of bringing the proposed Brass Gas Hub into reality. He led NNPC to take the Final Investment Decision (FID) with the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company for the $3.6bn Brass Methanol Plant in Odioma, Bayelsa State.
He followed that feat up a few weeks later with the signing of a $260m financing agreement for the Assa-North Ohaji South (ANOH) Gas Project with Seplat. The project will deliver 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 1,200 megawatts of electricity to the domestic market.
NNPC’s downstream operation is also experiencing the Mallam Kyari’s Midas touch with the introduction of Operation White which has helped in streamlining petroleum products importation, supply and distribution across the country.
As the sole importer of petroleum products in the country, NNPC has succeeded in keeping the nation well supplied emplacing stable fuel supply system to guarantee zero fuel queues throughout the country in the last two years of Kyari.
The Corporation is in the process of strengthening the products distribution system by revamping the pipeline network through a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model whose process is already at an advanced stage.
Keen on boosting petroleum products supply and distribution in riverine areas of the Niger Delta, Mallam Mele Kyari led NNPC to sign an agreement with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Zed Energy for the construction of the N10.5bn Brass Petroleum Products Terminal. The facility will serve as a strategic reserve for the country as it is expected to provide a depot for 50 million litres of petroleum products, two way product jetty, automated storage and automated bay for AGO, PMS, DPK and ATK.
Another giant stride to the credit of the incumbent GMD was the rehabilitation of the refineries. Mallam Kyari has made good on that promise by driving the rehabilitation project to an advanced level. On 6th April, 2021, he led NNPC to sign the $1.5bn Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) Contract Agreement with Tecnimont SpA, for the complete rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery.
In the same vein, the GMD led NNPC and the contractor, Tecnimont S.p.A., to flag off construction work on the Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation project.
Kyari introduced a new operational model for the refineries post-rehabilitation with the call for bids for the Operations & Maintenance Contract for the refineries advertised recently in the media. The O & M model would ensure that the refineries are managed by contractors with requisite experience who would ensure that they are regularly maintained as and when due.
During the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, the GMD realized the vulnerable position of Nigeria with regard to condition of the existing healthcare system in the country. He rallied players in all the sectors of the oil and gas industry to raise over N21bn to support the fight against the spread of the disease in the country
Under the leadership of NNPC, 26% of the fund was deployed for the provision of logistics and in-patient support equipment ensuring that every state of the Federation benefitted from the donations.
These social interventions which was an initiative of the GMD transcended all the six geo-political zones of the country alleviating the citizens during the pandemic.
No doubt these milestones of Mallam Mele Kyari under his leadership in NNPC will linger as a memento that will outlived him.