From Uche Usim, Abuja
Oil and gas experts have described the appointment of Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the new Chief Executive Officer, Upstream Petroleum Commission, as a perfect illustration of putting a square peg in a square hole new.
An industry analyst, Mr. Aliyu Galadima said Komolafe comes fully prepared for the new challenge, judging by his many years of leadership roles at various levels of the oil and gas industry; as well as the possession of three degrees in three different fields of academic research.
The 57-year-old, engineer from Ondo State, has been deeply involved in strategic policy formulation and implementation in the oil and gas industry where he clearly distinguished himself.
As the former Managing Director, Nigeria Pipeline & Storage Company (NPSC), Komolafe was said to have initiated the reform and business model for maintenance and operations of NNPC pipelines and depot infrastructure efficiently on a private Joint Venture (JV) basis.
He is an accomplished engineer, lawyer, and technocrat and has operated at the highest levels of the downstream and upstream sectors.
“The industry has ample records of how Komolafe’s steering of various downstream regulatory agencies yielded reforms that facilitated efficiency and attendant huge monetary value for Nigeria,” Galadima.
Komolafe is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria, COREN and member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he posited that Komolafe’s expertise as a seasoned engineer and lawyer is required at this time to give the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) the needed impetus.
According to him, the PIA needs professionals of stellar qualities like Komolafe who have an exceptional grasp of how to translate the potential benefits of the PIA into actual wins for Nigeria and Nigerians.
The accomplished oil and gas expert, was said to have initiated and coordinated various policies that generated and saved the Nigerian federation billions of dollars in his various capacities and national assignments he was given.
He was Group General Manager, Special Duties at the NNPC, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division and Executive Director (Commercial) Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company (PPMC).
In addition, he was General Manager , Operations, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), General Manager , Operations of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), among several others.
As Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, he facilitated optimum revenue for the Nigerian federation and performed transparently as acknowledged by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in its report within the period he served in office.
In the same vein, as Executive Director, (Commercial) between 2012–2014, he initiated strategic sales and retail plans and coordinated implementation of achievement of set revenue targets from downstream supply and distribution of refined petroleum products for nationwide consumption.
In PEF, he initiated operations policies for effective petroleum products supply and bridging to the inner parts of the country and price equalisation management nationwide and pioneered successful implementation of electronic tracking of petroleum products distribution nationwide.
This, it was learnt, resulted in transparent bridging of petroleum products and price equalisation management that saved the government hundreds of billions of naira through institutional process expertise.
He also successfully coordinated seamless supply of petroleum products nationwide with multiplier sectorial effect in the Nigerian economy as General Manager, Operations in the PPPRA.
Komolafe was Assistant General Manager (Head, Kaduna Zone), Assistant General Manager, Planning Research & Development and Branch Manager, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Warri.