The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, on Monday pledged to embrace transparency and accountability through periodic publication of the corporation’s financial transactions.
The NNPC boss, who made the pledge at his maiden Town Hall meeting with the staff of the Corporation in Abuja, said the NNPC of his dream was anchored on the foundation of transparency, which must henceforth be the watchword of every staff.
If he keeps the pledge, his management would have set an unprecedented record, as the NNPC is not known to fancy the globally accepted business practice of publishing its annual financial statements and accounts, like other national oil companies (NOCs).
The NNPC has not published its financial statement since 1999. Transparency International once called the corporation the world’s most secretive oil company.
Urging the staff to break away from the old culture, Mr. Kachikwu challenged them to bring creative solutions to the numerous challenges facing the Corporation, saying they could not afford to continue with business as usual if they are to achieve the kind of change he has in mind.
“I challenge you not to obey any directive from me or any superior officer that runs contrary to the rules,” he said. “President Muhammadu Buhari will not ask me to do anything shady, just as I would not ask any staff to carry out any unlawful duties.
“I want transparency. Beginning from next month, I want to be able to publish what the company makes from its businesses. I have told the president that as from next week I will be sending him weekly reports,” he said.
To entrench the culture of transparency in the system, Mr. Kachikwu said the NNPC would begin to establish its current financial status, while signing on auditors to conduct proper forensic audit to determine the corporation’s financial state.
He promised to revisit old processes that used to make for efficient operations, adding that staff should see themselves as drivers of the changes required to bring about the new NNPC.
“You are the best consultants there are. While there may be need to refer certain issues to consultants, ultimately you are the ones who will implement whatever recommendations they come up with; you are the ones who have been around and who understand the system and so you are the ones who should drive the change,” he charged the staff.
He said the change would be anchored on three key issues of people, processes, and profit, adding that the people element was key to the success of the other two elements which was the reason personnel motivation was dear to his heart.
He dismissed reports that he was out to sack 1000 staff and that nothing could be farther from the truth as he needed quality staff to drive the processes and business in the new NNPC.
The president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, Francis Johnson, who spoke on behalf of its members, assured the GMD of the readiness of NNPC staff support the Federal Government’s reform agenda for the Corporation and the oil and gas industry at large.
His counterpart in the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Igwe Achese, also said his union had confidence in the ability of the new GMD to deliver on President Mohammadu Buhari’s reform agenda in the country’s oil and gas industry.
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