Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Mele Kyari and the NNPC Odyssey: Navigating challenges, bringing innovation- Kabir Kabo Usman

By Kabir Kabo Usman, PhD

More often than not people tend to forget the simple meaning of chemistry which is the study of chemicals.

Human beings, plants animals are all made from the four classifications of matter as solid, liquid, plasmatic state, and gas.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPC LTD , in its innovative, incubative, and investment drive has now focused on fossil fuel for pharmaceutical and petrochemical, gas, and renewable energy under the able leadership of Dr Mele Kolo Kyari.

Why this monumental achievement within the last three months under the leadership of our able and fearless President Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

Ali ibn Abi Talib, an early Islamic leader and one of the Khulafā-i-Rāshidūn (the rightly guided caliphs who were successors to Prophet Muhammad) said: “Be obscure and do not attempt to be famous, do not elevate yourself to be remembered. Learn and conceal, find safety in silence, you will please the righteous people and you will outrage the wicked. Work hard and selflessly, universe has its way of rewarding selflessness.” These are some of the attributes Mele Kyari imbibed in running the NNPC LTD.

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President Bola Tinubu himself acknowledged the successes recorded by NNPC under Mele Kyari when he said: “That finding is great, it is a great showing a team. That a team that is unbreakable can be a team of achievers. You took the saddle of NNPC, and made a team out of Mele Kyari and his people. I say Mele Kyari Congratulations!”

In the tumultuous seas of Nigeria’s energy sector, Mele Kolo Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has proven to be a stalwart captain, steering the ship through the treacherous waters of global crises and local challenges.

The NNPC’s journey, weathered by the storms of the Russia/Ukraine war and the lingering impacts of COVID-19, unfolds as a saga of resilience and strategic acumen.

Maryamu Idris, the Executive Director of Crude and Condensate at NNPC Trading Limited, spoke on the adversities faced by Nigeria’s crude exports to India that led to a dip from 250,000 barrels per day before the Ukraine invasion to 194,000 in the subsequent six months that followed.

However, the tale takes a turn for the optimistic with only 120,000 bpd reaching India this year.

In the face of the shockwaves from COVID-19, a lack of investment, and insecurity in core oil-producing regions, Mele Kyari, operating under the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), has orchestrated a turnaround regime of the petrol and gas industry in Nigeria.

The challenges that once gripped Nigeria’s energy sector are now becoming relics of the past, thanks to the visionary leadership of Malam Mele Kyari.

Kyari’s effort is once again brought to the public gallery with a groundbreaking move in the form of the NNPC/Aiteo Joint Venture’s unveiling of the Nembe Crude Oil Grade.

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In the glittering halls of the ongoing Argus European Crude Conference in London, Mele Kolo Kyari’s strategic direction takes center stage. Aiteo’s operation at OML 29, fortified by Kyari’s leadership, introduces a new player into the international crude oil market.

The Nembe Crude Oil Blend emerges as a phoenix, once part of the renowned Bonny Light grade, now standing independently with unparalleled selling points. Its API gravity, low sulfur content, and reduced carbon footprint align seamlessly with the specifications of major buyers in Europe.

The export of two cargoes of 950,000 barrels each to France and the Netherlands signifies the immediate acceptance of this grade on the global stage.

Further amplifying this achievement is the inauguration of the Nembe Crude Oil Export Terminal (NCOET), Nigeria’s newest crude oil terminal. Licensed in accordance with existing laws and regulations, the terminal, a Floating Storage and Offloading Vessel (FSO), is set to export over 3.6 million barrels of crude oil monthly at full operational scale.

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This success story not only showcases the resilience of the NNPC/Aiteo Joint Venture but also contributes significantly to Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The creative approach under Mele Kolo Kyari’s strategic direction that debottlenecked hydrocarbon production from OML 29 stands as a beacon of ingenuity. The Argus European Crude Conference 2023 provides the ideal stage for such a monumental announcement, symbolizing Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in the energy sector under Kyari’s leadership.

But the narrative doesn’t end there. In another dimension of Kyari’s transformative leadership, the Niger State government, under his watch, signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NNPC Limited to develop renewable energy and low-carbon solutions projects. The Governor of Niger State, Mohammed Umaru Bago, described this development as a step towards cooperation in the prevention and development of renewable energy.

As Mele Kyari and the NNPC Limited continue to script this captivating narrative, one thing is certain: it’s a story of leadership resilience, innovation, and a commitment to charting a course for Nigeria’s energy future in the face of adversity.

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Last week the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest in the rehabilitation of Nigerian refineries. The commitments were made during a bilateral meeting between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

On Monday it was in the news that OPEC announced that in October Nigeria was top in meeting OPEC quota.

Usman, a former DG/CEO of Nigeria’s Centre for Management Development (CMD), and a Petrochemical and Hydrocarbon Chemistry expert, writes from Abuja.


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