NNPC to Phase out Discretionary Approvals

Mele Kyari
Mallam Mele Kyari

By Emmanuel Addeh

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),Mr. Mele Kyari, has reiterated his pledge to ensure more transparency in the corporation with the phasing out of discretionary approvals and pushing for deeper automation in the corporation’s processes.

Kyari had said that computerising the company’s processes would tame corruption in the corporation and in the oil and gas industry at large.

Generally, discretionary approvals involve the exercise of consent, sanction, or recommendation carried out on the basis of free will, a practice that has been largely abused by government officials.

A statement issued yesterday by the Spokesman of the corporation, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said the NNPC boss spoke at the latest edition of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Lunchtime Reforms Seminar, which held at the auditorium of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja.

It also quoted Kyari as saying that the corporation was focused on implementing innovations that would enhance its operations and bottom-line such as increasing crude oil production and reserve.

The NNPC helmsman who was represented by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Mrs. Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, also stated that the corporation was extending its gas footprint to stimulate industrialisation and boost local refining capacity.

“The NNPC is also driving the automation of its processes as part of reforms, aimed at discouraging discretionary approvals and to further deepen the culture of transparency in the system,” Kyari pledged.

In his comments, the Director General of BPSR, Dr. Dasuki Arabi, highlighted the Internal Open Resourcing (IOR) initiative of the NNPC, describing it as a veritable tool required to bridge the skills gap in both the public and civil services.

He said that the initiative is a human capital development plan by which talents are sourced from within the ranks of the NNPC through a competitive process to bridge managerial skills gap.

The BPSR boss said Nigeria relies on innovations by reputable organisations like the NNPC to achieve the aspiration of being among the best 20 civil services in the world by 2025.

He stated that the introduction of cost-reflective pricing of petroleum products, deepening of transparency in procurement processes in the petroleum sector and enhancement of local content in the oil and gas industry were innovations which should be commended.

Arabi added that there was need for the national assembly to fast-track the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, to enable the country reap the full benefits of its hydrocarbon resources.

Meanwhile, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI), a multi-stakeholder coalition that promotes extractives transparency and accountability in over 50 countries, has written the corporation on the steps it is taking to make the national oil company more accountable.

EITI’s Executive Director, Mr. Mark Robinson, said that the NNPC has set a good example and could lead in championing transparency for other national oil companies in Africa.

It welcomed NNPC’s recent transparency efforts, such as the monthly publication of its financial and operations reports since 2016 as well as recent publication of the corporation’s 2018 and 2019 Audited Financial Statements (AFS).