Tinubu Confirms Mele Kyari as NNPC Chief, Fuels Expectations

Kyari's Continued Leadership at NNPC Signals Strong Focus on Nigeria’s Oil Sector

by Adenike Adeodun

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s reappointment of Mallam Mele Kyari as Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has stirred varied reactions across political and industry sectors. Kyari’s supporters, recognizing his commitment to transparency and efficiency, celebrate this move as a recognition of his impactful tenure at NNPC and in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Influenced by his transparent governance and substantial contributions to NNPC’s achievements, President Tinubu has reaffirmed his confidence in Kyari. Initially appointed in 2019 as the 19th Group Managing Director of the then Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Kyari seamlessly transitioned to the Group CEO role at NNPCL following its incorporation under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), adhering to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

According to a report by This Day Live, Kyari, with over thirty years in the oil and gas sector, has spearheaded numerous initiatives since joining NNPC in 1991. Notably, his leadership has bolstered NNPC’s performance and reputation. He drove the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 Project in 2019, a pivotal move to increase production capacity and invite substantial investment.

This project, boosting NLNG’s total production by 35%, consolidates Nigeria’s status as a key LNG exporter. Kyari’s resolution of the long-standing Train 7 project underscores his dedication to reviving Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Kyari also actively addressed the decline in oil production, effectively boosting output levels and mitigating the impact of oil theft and vandalism. His strategic interventions, particularly in pipeline restoration, have significantly raised Nigeria’s oil production.

Furthermore, Kyari has adeptly navigated disputes over Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), enhancing federation entitlements and unlocking deepwater exploration opportunities. His approach has introduced cost efficiency and bolstered sector stability.

Kyari’s push for transparency has placed NNPC at the forefront of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), reinforcing its international standing for transparency and accountability.

Economically, under Kyari’s leadership, NNPC secured a significant loan from the African Export-Import Bank, a move pivotal in stabilizing Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and supporting national fiscal and monetary reforms.

Kyari is also at the helm of rehabilitating Nigeria’s national refineries, alongside supporting private refineries, aligning with NNPC’s vision of becoming a self-sufficient, world-class, commercial entity.

President Tinubu’s decision to retain Kyari at NNPC’s helm is strategic, ensuring continuity and progress in the energy sector. Kyari’s expertise and leadership are poised to propel NNPC’s ongoing transformation and make significant contributions to Nigeria’s energy landscape.

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