Mele Kyari: We’ll Partner EFCC to Transform NNPC

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Mele Kyari

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Mr. Mele Kyari, yesterday expressed the readiness of the oil corporation to work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to eliminate corruption, entrench transparency and accountability in the system.

He said in Abuja that stamping out corruption, transforming NNPC into a global company, promoting integrity and rendering satisfactory services to the citizenry in the most efficient way would be the priorities of the management under his watch.

Kyari spoke while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari along with his predecessor, Dr. Maikanti Baru.

He said his team was determined to justify the confidence reposed in it by the president who appointed him and in the next four years when the president would be leaving office, the management would have transformed NNPC into the hub of the Nigerian economy.

“As the former GMD has made it clear, I was part of the team that has been working assiduously since he resumed office. I understand the gravity of the assignment given to me, the trust that is associated with this work and the high expectations of Mr. President for us to make the company a global company of excellence and to deliver to the citizenry the benefits of the oil and gas industry.

“We are focused in ensuring that we deliver this in the shortest possible time and in the most efficient way. I assure all of us that we will do this work with integrity. I will ensure that by 2023, Mr. President will look back and confirm that he has not misplaced his trust first in Dr. Baru, and transferring it to us is a testament of the confidence Mr. President has for the corporation. We will make sure that at the end of the day that the corporation becomes an integrator of the economy,” he added.

On corruption, Kyari said he would work closely with anti-graft agencies, notably the EFCC, to fight corruption in the corporation, adding that the NNPC’s system would be automated to ensure that avenues for corruption are blocked.

“We are going to work with EFCC and other institutions that are involved in controlling and containing any form of corruption in our system. This is in line with Mr. President’s cardinal principle to contain corruption so that this country can benefit from its resources.

“There will be corruption where there is no discretion. So, we will automate our systems and processes so that discretion is reduced to the barest minimum.

“We need the help of EFCC wherever we see infractions in our systems, compromise in our systems,” he stated.

On his part, Baru who said he expected the new leadership team in the NNPC to double the achievements that his own team recorded, added that he expected the new team to hit the ground running and stabilise the system.

Baru said while he was not trying to set a target for the new team, he hoped that it would transform the corporation into the largest in Africa with the capacity to supply petroleum products to neighbouring countries.

According to him, they visited the president, who in his first time was the substantive oil minister, as part of the handover process.

He added that the meeting was also necessary because Kyari and his men needed the president’s blessing.

“I expect the new management of NNPC to do more than double of what we have done. I am not setting a high target for them, but I know this team is the jet factor fellows that will zoom up, dive, come back and steady the corporation and make sure it becomes definitely the largest in Africa and make serious contribution to Nigeria’s economy.

“We expect where we have stabilised the supply of fuel to the economy, they will make sure they start exporting products to neigbouring countries. I am so convinced that this team will deliver.

“The purpose of coming to see Mr. President is to carry out a symbolic handover of the new team led by Malam Mele Kyari to Mr. President. No matter what we did in terms of transition, they have their own programmes and vision of what they want to do. We are now the airbus pilots that are relaxing and cruising at an altitude and you cannot give them a vision of the jet fighter pilot that the NNPC requires.

“They will engage Mr. President at the appropriate time and get his blessing. I spent 1,099 days in the saddle of the corporation and can’t wait to present a young vibrant team,” he added.