Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Accomplished journalist and economist, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu has left the services of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as its official spokesperson after completing a three-year contract he signed with the corporation, THISDAY has learnt.
Although the corporation has not officially announced Ughamadu’s departure, THISDAY however gathered that he left on Tuesday as the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, an office he occupied twice at various periods.
Sources within the NNPC told THISDAY that the corporation was very pleased with Ughamadu’s tenure as its spokesman, and that a replacement in the person of Mr. Samson Makoji, has been made in acting capacity.
Makoji has been the corporation’s General Manager in charge of External Relations specifically with regards to its relationships with other government agencies and embassies, among others.
Ughamadu, who returned to the NNPC in 2016 when the immediate former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, left the corporation as the Group Managing Director , was once its spokesperson when Dr. Jackson-Gaius Obaseki was in charge as Group Managing Director of NNPC.
Meanwhile, the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facility could impact global economy.
Mele Kyari, in a statement from Makoji stated that energy security was as important as national security and equally critical in guaranteeing Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
He said this when members of a higher command course of the Indian Army War College who were on a geo-strategic tour of Nigeria paid him a visit in his office.
He also noted that fossil fuel would remain relevant in the global energy mix, contrary to assumptions in some quarters.
According to him crude oil demand would be very high even beyond 2040, and Nigeria would grow its oil production to 3 million barrels per day (mbd) by 2023 to enable her take advantage of the gap that exists in the demand and supply balance. He also talked about the uniqueness of Nigeria’s crude oil grades, saying they were rich crude with high global demand.
Describing energy security as a critical factor in guaranteeing Nigeria’s territorial integrity and growing its economy, Mele Kyari said: “Energy security is everything in terms of national security. The recent attack on Saudi oil facility is one incident which has attracted global attention and has the potential to impact global economy.”
According to him, understanding the relationship between energy security and global security was important, especially as developing nations strive to grow their respective economies and guarantee their territorial integrity.
The statement explained that in his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Brig. Gen. Sudhir Malik, said India was the largest trade partner with Nigeria, and stressed that oil formed a large chunk of the trade between the two countries.
He described Nigeria as Africa’s economic powerhouse which shares similar aspirations as India.
“We are also a growing economy. It is a mutual benefit to both nations. In times to come, we hope that these bilateral relations will continue to grow so that we will also increase the trade volumes,” Malik said.