By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari friday inaugurated the boards of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), with a call on the board members to uphold transparency in the management of the organizations.
He also asked them to come up with new ways to overcome the present economic challenges.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, will chair the boards of the agencies under his ministry.
In a short remark, the president charged the members to ensure propriety in the management of the agencies.
The president noted that the boards came at a time when the global petroleum industry was going through a downturn in purchase which he said, had also translated into dwindling production by most producer nations.
He said Nigeria had been hit by the misfortunes of oil industry adding that several countries had been hit much harder.
He said: “The board, which will be chaired by the minister of state for petroleum, is composed of other well selected persons who have both the experience and knowledge to drive the NNPC into harnessing its potentials and fulfilling its expectations to the nation even at this challenging time in the oil and gas industry.
“Oil and gas industry are the country’s foreign earners therefore the importance of this boards cannot be over emphasized.
“Your job should be to ensure propriety in the management of these most important national institutions. You should advise the minister and the corporation management’s on the most effective way for Nigeria to get more money from our assets.
“My expectation from the members of these boards is for them to ensure that the NNPC charts a way to face current economic challenges.
“These will involve a careful look at the ongoing reforms design to steer the corporation to better performance and efficiency. In addition, you should explore more innovative ways to resolve the joint venture funding constraints and other investment issues.
“Since the arrival of this administration, there has been and improvement in transparency through publishing monthly operational and financial report of the corporation. This, added to the major restructuring of the corporation and the liberalization of the downstream sector, are pointers to the determination and focus of the new NNPC under this administration.
“I must mention that the task before you is enormous but I am confident that with your wealth of experience and knowledge of members of these boards, the desired growth, this government’s aspirations and indeed the aspirations of Nigerians will be achieved within a reasonable time frame.”
Kachikwu, in his comment thanked the president for the opportunity afforded the board members to serve the country.
He said: “We have heard your kind words of wisdom and the charge you have given us in terms of ensuring transparency, focus and thinking outside the box in a bid to finding solutions the problems that plagues many of these parastatals.
“We assure you that the people you have appointed are competent, experienced and nationalistic and will do the very best to reduce the burden on your shoulders in terms of the management and steer of this institutions.
“For NNPC, a lot has already been achieved but a lot still needs to be achieved and we will be working with the management through the board to try and get them to where they should be.
“For NCDMB, the challenge to grow local content is even more apparent than now when our people are out of work and the need for local contracting companies to replace foreign contracting companies and activities of the upstream and downstream sectors in the oil and gas industry is even more urgent.
“For the NNRA, as we seek alternative power sources, the challenge will be on your shoulders to ensure that we begin to seek how to power villages, our cities through alternative power sources of energy.”