It is a new dawn in the annals of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation as Mele Kolo Kyari, who was recently appointed by President Mohammadu Buhari as the corporation’s new group managing director, assumes the mantle of leadership of the state-owned oil company.
He took over from Maikanti Bello who was in the saddle for three years. Baru’s administration focused on exploration along the River Benue basin and areas around the Lake Chad, though this has yet to produce cheering news.
Along with Kyari, seven chief operating officers also appointed by the president for the corporation’s business divisions have also taken their seats to begin a new era at the NNPC.
They are: Roland Onoriode Ewubare (South-south), COO Upstream; Mustapha Yinusa Yakubu (North-central), COO, Refining & Petrochemicals; Yusuf Usman (North-east), COO, Gas & Power; Lawrencia Nwadiabuwa Ndupu (South-east), COO Ventures; Umar Isa Ajiya (North-west), Chief Financial Officer; Adeyemi Adetunji (South-west), COO, Downstream; and Farouk Garba Said (North-west), COO, Corporate Services.
Kyari comes to the job as the 19th GMD of the NNPC with a rich profile of professional and service credentials.
A geologist, 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.
“Under his watch, the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC has recorded noticeable transformation in the management and sales of the various Nigeria’s crude oil grades via an infusion of transparency and automation of the processes,” the NNPC said of him in his official profile on its website.
A 1987 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree holder in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Maiduguri, 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, 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.
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.
Providing a glimpse into his policy direction, the new NNPC helmsman, while speaking through a representative in Vienna last week, said Nigeria would continue to support efforts to achieve unity and cohesion within the OPEC group.
Through the Declaration of Cooperation, greater stability is restored globally, Nigeria believes that having the right price and volume can support our aspiration and ensure a sustainable revenue generation,” he said.
While expressing his support for the extension of the agreement for production cuts by OPEC members, he said a six-month extension was too short a time and would not have the required impact in curbing uncertainty and volatility which existed before the cooperation
“So a nine-month extension is the way to go considering the objective of the declaration, that is why Nigeria supports the initiative and is also grateful that big nations are committed to it,” Kyari said.
He further expressed the commitment of the NNPC in revamping refineries, noting that in-country refining of crude through multiple channels and collaboration would ensure the nation becomes a major petroleum product exporter by 2020.
“Nigeria’s objective at today and tomorrow’s OPEC is to support the declaration of cooperation that has so far succeeded in restoration of global oil markets stability. Further to this, Nigeria’s hope is to secure appropriate quota for its export and optimal price.”