The public should be wary of attempts that are sometimes made to drag the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into politics through request for information under the Freedom of Information law, Mele Kyari, group managing director (GMD) of the corporation has said.
Kyari spoke when Waziri Adio, executive secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, (NEITI), paid a courtesy call on him at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC’s spokesman, Kyari is quoted as saying that though the corporation was committed to
transparency and accountability to the Nigerian people, a line must be
drawn between genuine requests for information and malicious attempts to
drag it into politics using the FOI law as a cover.
“As you are aware, sometimes the requests are brazenly malicious, and
they are laden with political undertones. NNPC finds it difficult to
respond to such requests because it is mindful of falling into the trap
of being drawn into politics or maligning others,” Kyari explained.
He disclosed that in keeping with its commitment to be accountable and
transparent, the corporation would publish its audited accounts soon.
On the disclosure of contracts and contractors as requested by the NEITI
boss, Kyari said the biggest contracts in the corporation’s portfolio currently are the products supply contracts under the Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme, adding that details of the contracts and the contractors would also be made public within this month.
He promised to make the monthly financial and operations reports more
accessible by publishing the soft copies of the reports from January to
Waziri Adio, congratulated Kyari on his appointment, saying: “This is a big opportunity you have been given to shape the direction of this country in a positive way and I believe you have the capacity to do that”.
He said he was particularly impressed with the corporation’s robust deployment of modern information and communication platforms, especially the website, which he noted could be used as a transparency tool through pro-active disclosures.
He said he was committed to working with the NNPC because of the GMD’s track record of integrity.
“The GMD is somebody we can vouch for, he is a transparency champion and I can’t remember any GMD’s appointment that has elicited as much goodwill as your appointment has generated”, he said.