Kyari formally takes over as NNPC chief (LIVE UPDATES)

Mr. Mele Kyari, NNPC GMD.
Mr. Mele Kyari, NNPC GMD.

The 19th Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Melee Kolo Kyari, takes over from his predecessor, Maikanti Baru, who retired from the service of the corporation on July 7 after attaining the statutory 60 years retirement age.

Until his appointment, Mr Kyari was Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC. He was also the Nigerian National Representative at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 2018.

Most oil industry players see Mr Kyari as reform-minded technocrat who is committed to the emergence of an open, transparent and accountable industry based on international best practice, principles and standards.

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, describes Mr Kyari as “a well-known transparency champion and one who enthusiastically shares the principles which underline the work of NEITI and the global EITI on good governance of the oil and gas industry.”

PREMIUM TIMES is at the Amphitheatre at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, to provide live coverage of the event.


Mr Kyari comes to the job as the 19th GMD of the NNPC with a rich profile of professional and service credentials.

A geologist, Mr Kyari is known in the oil industry as a crude oil marketer with outfield pedigree in petroleum economics and crude oil and gas trading.

With over 32 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, his tour of duty traversed the entire value chain of the petroleum industry.

A 1987 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree holder in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Maiduguri, Mr Kyari did his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) as a Well Site Geologist with the Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) between 1987 and 1988.

Between 1988 and 1991, he worked with the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency before joining the NNPC subsidiary, Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), where he worked as a Seismic Data Processing Geophysicist in the Data Processing Department.

In 1998, Mr Kyari was appointed the Exploration Geophysicist Production Sharing Contract (PSC) of the National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS) until 2004 when he became the Abuja Operations Manager of NAPIMS.

In 2006, he was appointed the Supervisor PSC, Crude Oil Marketing Department (COMD) of the NNPC, from where he rose to the position of Head, and later Manager of Production Contracts Management of the COMD between 2007 and 2014.

Mr Kyari was appointed General Manager Oil Stock Management, COMD where he worked till 2015 before being appointed Group General Manager, COMD and later Nigeria’s National Representative at OPEC.

The Immediate past GMD of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has just arrived in the company of his successor, Melee Kyari.

They are moving around to shake hands with other invited guests.

The chairman of the Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has arrived.

The acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, is also here.

After the National Anthem, the NNPC is rendering a welcome song,”God Bless Nigeria our fatherland” to entertain the guests..

The former GMD of NNPC. Funso Kupolokun is also in attendance. The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, is present too.

Maikanti Kachala Baru is being introduced formally to the applause of the audience.

Mr Baru carrying a specially designed cap with NNPC logo is being introduced again to the audience.

Some of the achievements of the outgoing GMD include making NNPC to publish its accounts to the public regularly.

He rehabilitated the petroleum products pipeline system that made it possible for the country to have a regular supply of fuel.

Mr Kyari is being introduced to the audience as Mr Baru’s successor.

He comes in with so many accolades. He is he star prize winner of the GMD Best Performing Staff award.

He is credited to be the driver of the Direct Purchase and Direct Sales.

He was also the NNPC Group Chairman of PENGASSAN.

He is also a former national representative of OPEC.

The former GMDs on parade are Chamberlain Oyiboh, Muhammad Yar’adua and Funsho Kupolokun.

A documentary on Maikanti Baru is about to be screened to the audience. It traces his footprints throughout his years in the NNPC.

He commenced his career in NNPC in 1991 and rose to become the 18th GMD.

The immediate past GMD of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, just arrived the amphitheatre of the NNPC for the handing over ceremony.

He is accompanied by the incoming GMD, Melee Kyari

Some of the achievements credited to Mr Baru included reduction in contact info cycle from nine months to three; Clearing of the cash call areas owed ExxonMobil Joint venture; ensuring regular supply of petroleum products across the country, the Abuja-Kano gas pipe line AKK project.

The NNPC choir are back on Stage with another song highlighting the different aspects of the NNPC operations.

A standing ovation follows the special documentary on Mr Baru highlighting his achievements during his tenure.  

The outgoing GMD of NNPC,  Maikanti Baru, (left), with his incoming counterpart, Melee Kyari, at the valedictory ceremony in honour of both officials.

The former GMD, Mr Baru, is being invited to deliver his valedictory speech.

Mr Baru thanks all invited guests, including top NNPC officials and former GMDs, for the honour done him with their presence.

He pays tribute to President Muhammadu Buhari for making it possible for a smooth transition of leadership at the NNPC.

He also acknowledged the special roles played in his career by Marionho, the first GMD of NNPC, and Funsho Kupolokun, whom he called his mentors.

He recalled how he was posted to NAPIMS (National Petroleum Investments Management Services) to go and take up a difficult assignment, including managing the Egina project, which recently began oil production at 200,000 barrels per day.

He thanks the various Executive Secretaries of PPPRA. PEF, NCDMG and PTDF for working in synergy with NNPC to realize it’s corporate objectives in the industry.

He recognized the presence of the acting Chairman if the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, saying he is not at the event to pick him up, but to hand over to him an anti-corruption badge for his exemplary conduct to promote transparency and a acccountability in the NNPC and the industry.

He says he has served for three years (about 1099 days) He says the best time to leave is now. He says his happiness is that he is handling over to a vibrant and energetic leadership that will continue from where he has stopped.

Thanking the NNPC workers for their support during his time, particularly the unions and Chief Operating Officers, who are all retiring with him, he says he hopes he did not disappoint them.

He asked the Chief Financial Officer, Abdulrasaq Isiaka, to stand for special recognition for his management of the special funding mechanism for the JV cash calls of $5bn annually. As the alternate chairman of NNPC, he said Mr Isiaka understood his vision of NNPC.

Mr Baru says as he is going, the 2018 financial books have been audited.

Next is Babatunde Adeniran, the COO Ventures. He said he had the difficult assignment of reviewing NNPC operational processes and realigning them to profitability. He thanks him for his service.

He said Saidu Mohammed, COO Gas, managed the industry gas portfolio that helped the realization of the final investment decision on NLNG Train 7 and the gas master plan for the whole country. He also commended Mr Mohammed for other contributions to grow the industry.

To Isa Inuah, COO, Corporate Services, he said although he retired only nine dàys earlier than him, he was able to mobilise the NNPC staff to deliver in the 12 business focus areas. He said he was able to make the various unions to cooperate with management to deliver on its mandate.

To Bello Rabiu, COO, Upstream, he said he helped increased crude oil production from less than one million barrels per day to over 2 million barrels; reduced the contracting cycle from 36 months to nine months; revived and sustained Nigerian Petroleum Development Company from 65,000bpd to over 300,000 barrels per day.

Kragha Anibo, COO, Refineries & Petrochemical, he said, worked hard to ensure the nation’s refineries performed at average capacity to guarantee stability in fuel supply in the country.

He commended Henry Ikem-Obih, COO, Downstream, for ensuring NNPC realised its mandate as the fuel supplier of last resort in the country.

Under his leadership, he said Nigerian have enough supply of petroleum products throughout the country.

He thanks him for ensuring the country has adequate supply of fuel and avoiding crisis in fuel supply.

Mr Baru asks all the outgoing COOs to stand for a special recognition. He commended them for making themselves available to offer service to the country as leaders.

He said NNPC has evolved. He asks Mr Kyari to stand. He said his team are the most capable that would take the NNPC to greater heights.

Apart from managing the crude oil supply system, he said he is also the representative inn OPEC.

He said one does not have a legacy if one does not have the right successor.
He said he has been mentoring his successor. He said he recommended Mr Kyari to the President who confirmed his choice to give him the new wings to fly and take NNPC to greater heights.

Baru asks all the outgoing COOs to stand for special recognition. He commended them for making themselves available to offer service to the country as leaders.
He said NNPC has evolved. He asks Mr Kyari to stand.
He said his team are the most capable that would take the NNPC to greater heights.
Apart from managing the crude oil supply system, he said he is also the representative in OPEC.
He said one does not have a legacy if one does not have the right successor.
He said he has been mentoring his successor. He said he recommended Mr Kyari to the President who confirmed his choice to give him the new wings to fly and take NNPC to greater heights.

He charges the new management to focus on staff development and efficiency and ensure transparency of operations in terms of timely publication of monthly financial and operational report; and strive towards energy sufficiency.

He charged them to focus on the growth of oil and gas operations from new fields. He says if the new management follows the trajectory he set, they will take the NNPC and the industry to greàter heights. He said the desire of every parent is to see his children surpass their achievements.
He said he did his best and today is the perfect moment to say goodbye.

Mr Baru completed his long speech and moved around the hall to shake hands with some special guests who listened to him speak.

Some goodwill messages are taken.

The first message is from the OPEC Secretary General, Mohammed Barkindo, who congratulated Mr Baru on his retirement and said he believes he is leaving the NNPC in the capable hands of Mr Kyari, whom he has worked with in OPEC.

The next to speak is the first GMD of NNPC, Mr Marinho. He thanked President Buhari for ensuring a smooth transition in NNPC.

He said Mr Baru has recorded so many giant strides that have helped stabilise the oil and gas industry. He described him as a jet plane who took off and landed in the moon, leaving Mr Kyari the challenge to take NNPC to Mars. He said President Buhari has completed the good work by ensuring a smooth transition at NNPC.

The Alternate Board Chairman of NNPC, Thomas John, said he is proud to be the one who was privileged to recruit both Mr Baru and Mr Kyari. He urged the new NNPC management to work together with the entire staff to lift the corporation to a new height.

The outgoing and the incoming GMDs and and other former GMDs gather to cut a giant retirement cake in honour of Mr Baru.
Mr Kyari presents a giant card and a gift to Mr Baru.

A brief documentary on Mr Kyari is shown to the audience.

Mr Baru hands over the instrument of office to Mr Kyari.

Mr Kyari says before the end of President Buhari’s administration in 2023, all the four refineries will be working, while the country will become a net exporter of petroleum prdiduçts.
He said he will do the job with integrity. He told the staff that the journey will not be easy. He called for the cooperation of all to make NNPC a global company


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