Uche Usim, Abuja and Adewale Sanyaolu
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, yesterday said the national oil company under his leadership would target 40 billion barrels of crude oil reserve by 2023, by increasing daily production from the current 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) to three million bpd.
Speaking shortly after taking over from his predecessor, Dr. Maikanti Baru, in Abuja on Monday, Kyari also assured that the four major refineries in the country will become fully functional by 2023, even as he pledged to support private refineries including Dangote’s to come on stream to support government owned facilities.
According to him, NNPC, under his management will engage all stakeholders to move the industry forward.
The NNPC helmsman, who said his appointment was a divine design assured Nigerians he would live above board in all his dealings.
Kyari said he would work closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to stamp out corrupt practices in the Corporation.
He said: “I’m privileged to be appointed and I will do my best. I’m not the most qualified or most brilliant. I only have a first degree. We’ve over 40 persons with PhD in NNPC. But it pleased God that I be appointed.
“When Baru called me that I’m now the GMD, I knew the opportunity can only come from God. There’s a divine pathway to success. I’ll work with integrity. I won’t put personal interest before company’s interest.
“NNPC is owned by the federation and managed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. We need each other to deliver. I’ve already set a target for the COOs to have 40 billion barrel crude reserve by 2023”, he said.
He also said plans were afoot to launch various ICT-driven innovations to deliver the best of services to Nigerians. Soon you can buy petrol online and have it delivered to your stations like you buy things from amazon. We’re almost there. There are data you can’t disclose here but we’re working assiduously to get there. We will expand our frontiers of engagements and at the end, everyone will be proud of it.
“We’ll work with IOCs, grow production, grow reserves. IOCs will do business and make reasonable money. It’ll be a win-win situation for all”, he added.
The new NNPC boss while reeling out his plans to hit the ground running also listed eight core areas the Corporation under his management will focus on.
The eight core strategic focus areas include unveiling a roadmap to foster NNPC’s global excellence, leveraging technology and innovation, reviving Nigeria’s refineries to stop ‘painful’ importation of petroleum products, revamping all downstream infrastructure, growing Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserve base to 40 billion barrels, exploiting untapped opportunities in renewable energy, improved transparency, accountability, and performance excellence in NNPC and fight against corruption.
The GMD equally said as part of plans to achieve a sustained performance, the Corporation under his watch will unveil a roadmap that would guide its growth objectives both in the short and long term.
In his valedictory speech, Dr Maikanti Baru, immediate past GMD, said he has sacrificed 45.6 per cent of his terminal benefits for the Corporation’s pensioners.
Baru said he lost N1.5 million to the deliberate sacrifice. He commended the efforts of other officers who worked with him during his tenure.
Commending Isiaka Abdulrasaq, NNPC’s chief financial officer for sharing his vision in making the earnings of pensioners better, Baru said: “You keep reminding me that I took an undertaking that our pensioners must not be handed over to other PFAs, and as such the almost N200 billion pension gap that was a good bait to stop the continuation of the closed pension fund scheme that we operate is hanging over our neck,” he said.
“PenCom was around the corner to severe us and send retirees into oblivion and consistently you drew up the programme and N198 billion was fully paid off last year and the gap is closing. “You are able to see my vision in saying that some of our pensioners that were earning about one thousand naira because of the time they retired and some less than five thousand naira, that we should bring alms home by inviting some of those that are earning much more to do sacrifices, earn scheme, whereby to weeks ago, you were able to get most of the high earners into one room and 90 per cent of them agreed.