Burden of a Successor! Will NNPC Boss, Mele Kyari, Succeed Where Maikanti Baru Failed?

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Burden of a Successor! Will NNPC Boss, Mele Kyari, Succeed Where Maikanti Baru Failed?

Burden of a Successor! Will NNPC Boss, Mele Kyari, Succeed Where Maikanti Baru Failed?
September 11
17:46 2019

Yes, in few months, NNPC Boss, Mele Kyari, will be seen as a national boon or disaster. He will be hailed as a round peg in a round hole or tirelessly maligned as the fig that lets down the leaf, the affliction that has to be concealed or expunged. Until then, Kyari will stew in metamorphosis.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) dissolves into multiple identities characterised by the oil industry’s familiar bogeys, even as you read.

Yes, Kyari, despite his brilliance and touted vigour, is hardly a match for Nigeria’s predatory band of oil Turks and cliques in the energy sector. But his office demands that he assumes a front thus his frantic posturing and pretension to purpose and valour. It would be delightful however, to see Kyari succeed where his predecessors failed woefully but he needs generous doses of forthrightness to do that.

The NNPC’s GMD needs to be a man or the best form of the man that his employer, President Muhammadu Buhari wants him to become. Can he?

Appointed in June after the retirement of his predecessor Maikanti Baru the new NNPC group general manager Mele Kyari has sent strong signals showing he is ready to take on troublesome projects that Baru was unable to finish.

These include the construction of a new liquefaction train at Bonny Island in Rivers State, led by opposition party member Governor Wike. The NLNG, a joint venture between Shell/ ENI/ Total and NNPC is carrying the Train 7 project, which is running several years behind schedule. The build, which will now be split into two smaller trains with a capacity of 3 million and 4.5 million tonnes per annum, has become highly political Baru had strongly pushed for NLNG boss Tony Attah, a former director at Shell Nigeria to sign the final investment decision but left office before managing to do so.

Another large project on which Baru was unsuccessful was achieving first oil at the Bonga South Westoilfield (OML 118), which should be able to produce over 200,00 bpd. The field operator, Shell, has postponed developing the site while it is tied up in tax disputes over OML 133 with NNPC. For Bonga South West, Kyari should be able to count on input from Roland Ewubare, one of the seven operating officers appointed at the same time.

Ewubare has experience talking over the project with oil firms, hashing out matters such as local content, from the time he was the head of Napims Baru has also left Kyari to deal with the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline project. Once again, the NNPC managing director will be able to draw on his team. The new COO of corporate services has been in charge of steering this highly political project since 2017.


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