Obateru: Celebrating A Quintessential PR Man at 60

Official Handover of the former Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, to his successor, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammad, held at the NNPC Towers Abuja
Official Handover of the former Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, to his successor, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammad, held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.

By Obinna Nwachi

The job of managing the image and reputation of a company that many love to hate and others hate to love is no mean task. Very often, one leaves the job inheriting the ‘enemies’ of the company as personal enemies. Very rarely does one leave the job in a gale of accolades as Dr. Kennie Obateru is doing today from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) upon clocking the statutory retirement age of 60.

Obateru assumed office as the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC in March 2020 at a time when various countries across the world, including Nigeria, were going into lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. He quickly retooled the Division to be able to promptly respond to the challenges of the time. This saw the robust engagement of the Corporation’s publics with the Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, leading the charge in clarifying the issues around production cuts, decline in crude oil sales and efforts to shore up revenues for the nation.

Apart from ensuring the vigorous implementation of the corporation’s Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) through timely communication of NNPC’s operations and activities, Obateru maintained an open-door policy which ensured prompt handling of all enquiries. This obviously resulted in a near-zero bad press for the NNPC in the one and half years he held sway as the chief reputation manager.

Speaking on Obateru’s style and professionalism, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated that he owed the very cordial relationship his agency enjoys with NNPC to Obateru’s engaging human relations skills. “It is with mixed feelings I learnt about Kennie’s retirement. Kennie Obateru is a very tall man, taller in ideas but tallest in competence and integrity. He’s a man of details, learns lessons from opportunities and from the ups and downs of life. We had a smooth working relationship with the NNPC during his tenure and it was all due to his style,” he declared.

Stakeholders from across all sectors of the oil and gas industry who had the good fortune to encounter him in his long career that spanned 29 years across various subsidiaries and the Corporate Headquarters of the Corporation are all agreed about Obateru’s excellent human relations skills. One of such is Sopuruchi Onwuka, the publisher of Oracle News who traced his first encounter with Obateru to his days at the Manager, Public Affairs Department, Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He described Obateru as a thoroughbred public relations professional and a perfect relationship manager who succeeded in getting the public to see NNPC through him.

“He is down to earth in his dealing with people. He is polite and urbane. He doesn’t talk down on you or force you to accept his point of view, he wins you over. Another thing I find particularly fascinating about Dr. Obateru is his ability to listen patiently and respond to issues no matter how busy he is. If his busy schedule makes it difficult to take your call and respond to your questions immediately, he will send a text message that he will get back to you, and he returns with answers,” Onwuka stated.

From colleagues and media practitioners who had to deal with daily in the course of his job, none could think of anything negative to say about Obateru as a person or his style as a reputation manager. A veteran energy journalist, Mr Olusola Bello, who related with him closely for years in the course of his job described Obateru thus: “He is a very competent public relations man, he knows his job. He is very accessible and always reaching out. In fact he has a way of drawing people close and taking them into confidence about developments in the industry. This style made it difficult for a lot of us to do stories that could impact on NNPC and its subsidiaries negatively because it would make you feel guilty that you are betraying your source”.

Bello’s submission holds the secret to the general positive reportage NNPC enjoyed throughout Obateru’s tenure as the corporation’s spokesman, a job for which he came fully prepared by virtue of his vast experience within the NNPC and the oil industry. Before his appointment as the Group General Manger, Group Public Affairs of the NNPC in 2020, he was the General Manager, NNPC London Office.

He joined the services of the Corporation in 1992 as an experienced hire and since then has held several key and strategic positions in the Public Affairs Division.

He was Manager, Public Affairs of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a corporate service unit of the NNPC between 2010 and 2015.

Prior to that, he was Manager, Public Affairs Department, Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) between 2008 and 2010 and was Manager, Media Relations in the Group Public Affairs Division from 2007 to 2008.

Dr. Obateru was Deputy Manager, Media Relations in GPAD between 2006 and 2007, and served as a team member in Project PACE-SMS, CP Core Process Teams between 2005 and 2006.

From 2001 to 2005, he served as Supervisor, Budget & Planning in GPAD. He also doubled as Supervisor, Audio Visual, between 2000 and 2001. His versatility was brought to bear on the print side of the corporate communication business when he diligently served as Editor, NNPC News, a monthly publication of the Group Public Affairs Division from 1998 to 2000.

Between1993 and1998, Dr. Obateru was the Protocol Officer to the then Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources. He cut his teeth in the Corporation as a Protocol and Consular Officer between 1992 and1993.

He is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos; University of Ilorin and University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, where he obtained a Certificate in News Reporting, a B.A. (Hons) Performing Arts and an M.Sc. in Public Relations respectively.

In 2012, Obateru joined the doctoral club of eggheads when he was awarded a Doctorate Degree in Management (Honoris Causa) by the Commonwealth University, Belize.

He has attended numerous professional courses and conferences at home and abroad which included three (3) International Public Relations Association Conferences, five (5) World Petroleum Congresses (WPCs) and 15 OPEC Ministerial Conferences among others.

Dr. Obateru is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, a member of the International Public Relations Association, a senior member of the Africa Public Relations Association as well as a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management.

His hobbies include Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis, reading and dancing. Dr. Obateru is happily married and his union is blessed with four children.

Dr. Obateru bows out after 29 years of meritorious service to the NNPC.

Obinna Nwachi, a public commentator and analyst, wrote in from Abuja.

NNPC Records Crude Oil, Gas Sales of $219.75m And Petroleum Product Sale Of N295.72bn in May

NNPC logo
NNPC logo
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it recorded a total crude oil and gas export sales of $219.75m in May 2021, representing 180.29% increase on sales from the previous month of April 2021.
This is contained in the May 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), according to a press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammad.
According to the report, crude oil export sales contributed $181.19m (82.45%) of the dollar transactions compared with $4.22 million contribution in the previous month, while the export gas sales component stood at $38.56million in May 2021.
The report also showed that between May 2020 and May 2021, the Corporation exported crude oil and gas worth $1.64billion.
In the gas sector, the report showed that natural gas production in the month under review increased by 6.19% at 222.23billion cubic feet (bcf) compared with output in the previous month, translating to an average production of 7,177.53million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of gas per day.
For the period May 2020 to May 2021, a total of 2,898.34bcf of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,322.94mmscf during the period.
Period-to-date production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 60.94%, 20.04% and 18.99% respectively.
Out of the 216.29bcf of gas produced in May 2021, a total of 133.56bcf was commercialized, consisting of 44.02bcf and 89.54bcf for the domestic and export markets respectively.
This translates to a total supply of 1,419.83mmscfd of gas to the domestic market and 2,893.66mmscfd to the export market for the month.
This implies that 61.75% of the average daily gas produced was commercialized while the balance of 38.25% was either re-injected, used as upstream fuel or flared.
In the Downstream sector, the report indicates that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a downstream subsidiary of the NNPC, posted a total sum of ₦295.72bn from the sales of petroleum products in the month of May 2021 compared with ₦220.13billion sales in April 2021.
Furthermore, total revenues generated from the sales of petroleum products for the period of May 2020 to May 2021 stood at ₦2.345trillion where Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) contributed about 99.61% of the total sales with a value of ₦2.336trillion.
In terms of volume, the figure translates to a total of 2.241billion litres of white products sold and distributed by PPMC in the month of May 2021 compared with 1.673billion litres in the month of April 2021.
Total sales of petroleum products for the period May 2020 to May 2021 stood at 18.651billion litres and PMS accounted for 99.69% of total volume.
In May 2021, 64 pipeline points were vandalized representing 39.13% increase from the 46 points recorded in April 2021. The Port Harcourt area accounted for 65% and Mosimi and Kaduna Areas accounted for 30% and 5% respectively of the vandalized points.
NNPC in collaboration with the local communities and other stakeholders continuously strive to reduce and eventually eliminate this menace.
The 70th edition of the NNPC MFOR highlights the Corporation’s activities for the period of May 2020 to May 2021.

NNPC Consolidates On Gains, Publishes 2020 Audited Financial Statements

NNPC logo
NNPC logo

Following up on President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent announcement of the
declaration of two hundred and eighty seven billion Naira (N287bn) Profit After Tax (PAT) in year 2020 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Corporation has consolidated on the remarkable achievement, by publishing the Audited Financial Statements (AFS) on its official website.

It would be recalled that while announcing the outstanding feat a little over a fortnight ago,
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources,
had said: “I have further directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to timely publish the Audited Financial Statements in line with the requirements of the law and as follow up to our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability by public institutions.”

In compliance with the President’s directive, the NNPC has fulfilled this very important statutory requirement by publishing its Audited Financial Statements today.

Among the highlights of the 2020 AFS is the Corporation’s
group profit which rose from a loss position of N1.7billion in 2019 to a profit of
N287bn in 2020, for the first time in 44 years.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC Mal. Mele Kyari, had at various times since the President’s declaration of profit, attributed the turnaround to aggressive cost cutting, automation of the system and renegotiation of contracts downwards by about 30 per cent, among other tough measures.

Further highlights of the AFS revealed that while the Corporation’s group financial
position increased in total current assets by 18.7% compared to that of 2019, its
total current liabilities increased by 11.4% within the same period.

The group’s working capital remained below the line at N4.56trillion in 2020 as
against N4.44trillion in 2019, the AFS further revealed.

Similarly, the Corporation’s group revenue for the 2020 financial year stood at
N3.718trillion as against N4.634trillion in 2019, a decrease that could be attributed to the decline in the production and price of crude oil due to the global impact of the
Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the third consecutive year that the NNPC is publishing its AFS, having done so for 2018 and 2019.

The full document of the NNPC 2020 AFS is available on the Corporation’s website.https://www.nnpcgroup.com/Pages/Home.aspx

Price Differentials Is Fueling Petrol Smuggling- NNPC

GMD, NNPC Mele Kyari
GMD, NNPC Mele Kyari

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained that concerted efforts by the Corporation and some Federal agencies to combat the menace of smuggling of petroleum products have been largely hampered by existing arbitrage fueled by the prevailing huge price differentials in pump price of petrol in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
In a presentation at an interactive session by the Joint Senate Committee on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said with a price difference of over N100 per litre between what is sold in Nigeria and in countries around the nation, it was difficult to cage the activities of petrol smugglers.
The NNPC GMD said though the Corporation, working in concert with other agencies, has made noticeable progress in combating the menace, the battle was yet to be won.
“As long as there is arbitrage between the price that you sell and what is obtainable elsewhere, you can be sure that it is very difficult to contain the situation,” he said.
He emphasized that the activities of smugglers have also made it difficult for the country to determine the actual consumption figures for petrol, noting that the Corporation can only know what was trucked out from loading depots across the country but cannot determine how much of that was consumed in-country.
On the MTEF assumptions, the GMD reiterated a base oil price scenario of $57 per barrel for 2022, $61 per barrel for 2023 and $62 per barrel for 2024 predicated on a base national production of 1.883 million barrels per day in 2022, 2.234 million barrels per day in 2023 and 2.218 million barrels per day in 2024.
Kyari explained that the assumptions were arrived at after consultations with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant stakeholders while also undertaking a careful appraisal of the three-year historical dated Brent Oil Price average of $59.07 per barrel premised on Platts Spot Prices among other considerations.
He reiterated that price growth was to be moderated by the lingering concerns over COVID-19, increased energy efficiency as well as obvious switching due to increased utilization of gas and alternatives for electricity generation.
The Senate Joint Committee session was chaired by Senator Solomon Adeola, with members drawn from the Senate Committees on Finance, National Planning, Foreign and Local Debts, Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, Petroleum Resources Upstream, Downstream Petroleum Sector and Gas.

NNPC ₦287bn Profit: Kyari Explains Facts Behind The Figures  …As Sylva, Board Members Hail Corporation

Mele Kyari,GMD, NNPC
Mele Kyari,GMD, NNPC

Following the Presidential applause for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on its posting of ₦287bn profit after tax in the 2020 financial year, the Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, has given an insight into the measures adopted by his management to achieve the feat.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, the GMD attributed the turn-around of the Corporation from a loss of ₦803bn in 2018 to profit of ₦287bn in 2020 to the aggressive implementation of cost-cutting measures, improved efficiency through business automation, emphasis on commercially-focused investments and non-interference in the management of the Corporation from any quarters.

The GMD also added that the Corporation saved a lot of cost through contract renegotiation by up to 30% on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, introduction of technology that drastically cut travel cost through reduction in in-person meetings and the general automation of processes that enhanced efficiency across the group’s businesses.

He said Management’s focus on the prioritization of investment and staff welfare also helped in boosting the Corporation’s overall productivity and bottom line.

Speaking earlier while kick-starting the press conference, the Alternate Chairman of the NNPC Board of Directors and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who joined the press conference virtually, congratulated the GMD, Management and staff of the Corporation on the feat of posting profit for the first time since its incorporation in 1977.

He said NNPC’s emergence from loss into profitability, coming shortly after the signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill, was a proud moment for him, adding that this was a season of achievements for the nation’s oil and gas sector.

Members of the NNPC Board, Chief Pius Akinyelure, Mallam Mohammed Lawal, Dr. Tajudeen Umar and Mrs Lami Onayi Ahmed, who were also present at the event, also echoed the Minister and congratulated the Management and staff of the Corporation on the feat.

NNPC, KDSG, Sign MoU On Gas Utilisation, Expansion

R-L,GMD NNPC,Mallam Mele Kyari and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir  el-Rufai signing the MOU for the supply of gas to Kaduna State
R-L,GMD NNPC,Mallam Mele Kyari and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai signing the MOU for the supply of gas to Kaduna State

Nigeria’s domestic gas penetration aspirations have received a major boost as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Kaduna State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for utilisation and expansion of gas supply in the state.

Speaking at the MoU Execution Ceremony which held Thursday at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, described the moment as yet another watershed in the Federal Government’s Decade of Gas initiative which is aimed at utilising the nation’s abundant gas resources to power the nation’s economy through a number of strategic gas expansion projects such as the ongoing OB3 and Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Projects.

The event which was facilitated by the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) would ensure long-term involvement and support of Kaduna State Government and key gas sector players such as the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC) and virtual pipeline companies to provide gas supply assurance to industries within the state on competitive terms.

“We all know that Kaduna used to be a hub when it comes to industries. It is our hope that this MoU signing will help provide the gas needed for some of those industries to come back to life,” Kyari stated.

He said the Corporation was committed to the commercialization of Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources to support balanced economic growth and job creation across the country, stressing that as the world transits to low carbon energy, the nation’s huge gas resources would continue to be an important source of clean energy for today and the future.

“There is no better way of making cheaper and cleaner energy than delivering gas into the domestic market,” he declared.

The NNPC helmsman further stated that the Corporation would continue to engage with stakeholders and partners to secure early market and ensure that the economic benefits of the AKK gas pipeline were maximized.

“NNPC is leading this coordinated effort with State Governments and private sector investors to develop demand framework for immediate and long-term gas supply solutions ahead of the completion of the AKK gas pipeline project,” he noted.

The GMD also expressed gratitude to the Kaduna Government for hosting NNPC’s facilities such as the Refinery complex, the Depot, the ongoing AKK gas pipeline and Independent Power Plant Projects (IPPs).

Responding, Governor Nasiru el-Rufai said Kaduna State Government was delighted with the prospect of having an additional energy source to power businesses in the state.

“We wholeheartedly welcome this project. Gas provides a cost-effective option for powering factories, homes and vehicles. For the Kaduna State Government, this project is a welcome boost to our investment and job creation strategy. It will create jobs and provide skills for artisans who will work on the gas pipelines and associated infrastructure. Beyond that, this project will power the industries that have responded with enthusiasm to our investment promotion campaign,” Governor el-Rufai stated.

He particularly thanked the GMD NNPC and the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria for the gas utilization and expansion initiative and zeal displayed by to deliver the project.

“Let there be no doubt that the Kaduna State Government is committed to this MoU and the realisation of its goals in the interest of the people of Kaduna State,” Governor el-Rufai concluded.

The MoU was signed by Mallam Kyari on behalf of the Corporation while the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai signed on behalf of the State Government.

2022 – 2024 Revenue Projection: House Of Reps. Commends Kyari’s Revenue Framework  Clarification

Mele Kyari, GMD, NNPC
Mele Kyari, GMD, NNPC

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, on Wednesday received accolades from the House of Representatives Committee on Finance for providing detailed explanations on some burning Oil Industry issues at an interactive session on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure and Revenue Framework (MTERF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abiodun James Faleke, commended the NNPC GMD for providing an in-depth explanation and insider perspective on some issues surrounding the operations of the NNPC and the Oil Industry stating: “You have made our day. The committee is better informed based on explanations provided by the GMD.”
Mallam Kyari, in his presentation, provided a base oil price scenario in the medium term as follows: $57 per barrel for 2022, $61 per barrel for 2023 and $62 per barrel for 2024
Kyari explained that the assumptions were arrived at after a careful appraisal of the three-year historical dated Brent Oil Price average of $59.07 per barrel premised on Platts Spot Prices.
“Price growth is to be moderated by the lingering concerns over COVID-19, increased energy efficiency, switching due to increased utilization of gas and alternatives for electricity generation. These are reflected in the Medium Term Revenue Framework’’ Kyari informed.
On the perennial issue of smuggling of petroleum products, Kyari implored the National Assembly to come to the aid of the Corporation in battling the menace, noting that the Corporation, based on the directive of Mr. President, had mobilized some Federal Agencies like the Customs, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Police, Civil Defence Corps and others, to find workable solutions to the menace.
On the propriety of establishing NNPC Retail stations in neigbouring countries to curb the challenge of illegal haulage of petroleum products across the border, Kyari said though the NNPC once considered the option, it had to jettison the idea when it became imperative that the measure would be counterproductive.
He explained that people who are smuggling are not looking for officially priced petroleum products. He further noted that going ahead to establish NNPC Retail stations would not yield the desired result since the people who take products across the border are not interested in selling at the official prevailing prices at approved stations but are interested in under the counter deals.
The NNPC GMD also took time to provide detailed explanation on the Corporation’s equity shareholding interest in Dangote Refinery, noting that the package which was at the instance of NNPC is designed to guarantee national energy security.
He stated that the equity interest was secured after due consideration of the national interest and best possible options.
“We will have right to 20 percent of production from this facility. We structured our equity participation on the basis that the refinery must buy at least 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day of our production. This guarantees our market at a period when every country is struggling to find market for their crude oil’’ he explained.

NPDC, Ogoni People Pledge Cooperation On Oil Production

Convener and leader of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative, Rev. Douglas Fabeke (left), presenting a communique from the Ogoni leaders to the Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mr. Mohammed Ali-Zarah, who was invited as guest to the Ogoni Liberation Day celebration which held in Bori, Rivers State.
Convener and leader of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative, Rev. Douglas Fabeke (left), presenting a communique from the Ogoni leaders to the Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mr. Mohammed Ali-Zarah, who was invited as guest to the Ogoni Liberation Day celebration which held in Bori, Rivers State.
The leaders of Ogoniland in Rivers State under the auspices of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative have pledged to cooperate with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in the exploration and production of oil and gas resources in its territory.

The Ogoni leaders made the pledge Tuesday at the Ogoni Liberation Day which held in Bori with the Managing Director of NPDC, Mr. Mohammed Ali-Zarah, as an invited guest.
Speaking at the event, the Convener and leader of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative, Rev. Douglas Fabeke, commended the Court of Appeal for the judgement confirming NPDC as the valid operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11, stressing that the Ogoni people welcomed with great joy the intervention of the Federal Government and the takeover of the oil assets by NPDC following the judgement of the Appeal Court in Abuja.

The Ogoni leader described the judgment that handed OML11 to NPDC as liberation for the Ogoni people, stressing that the people of Ogoni have “looked forward to this freedom over the years”.

He further praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration’s commitment to the development of Ogoniland, adding that his people would support all efforts aimed at restoring the environment and exploring its huge natural resources for the benefit of all.

He declared that Ogoni leaders have resolved to eschew bitterness and work with the Federal Government to ensure that the people benefitted from the resources in their land.

“The Ogoni people are ready for oil and gas business in the land to entrench development in partnership with the NNPC and the Federal Government of Nigeria through a transformed template and practical community development delivered by the host communities.

The Ogoni people are ready to do all forms of businesses with the State, Federal and Global Corporate Communities for the development of their land, provided the business is anchored upon Ogoni development,” he said.

He submitted a communique on behalf of the people of Ogoni to the Federal Government as the request of Ogoni people and as condition for the mutual relationship between the people and NPDC.

The communique, among other things, requested that “the issue of clean-up in Ogoniland should be re-visited and the Government should mandate the handling agency to expedite actions and clean the land in tune with the UNEP Report’s recommendation or allow the Ogoni people to bring experts that would perfectly implement the recommendations of the UNEP Report to the letter”
It also called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the provisions of infrastructure to the Ogoni people.

“The Ogoni people will not work under any political manipulation that will affect the development and smooth operation in the land without capturing the interest of the people. We stand by every word drafted here and will implement it to the letter, and also ready to give the Federal Government of Nigeria maximum cooperation to achieve its aim for the success and benefit of the nation and the Ogoni people.” the communique stated.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of NPDC, Mr. Mohammed Ali-Zarah, said the company understood the concerns and yearnings of the Ogoni people and shared in their pain.
He said NPDC and the Federal Government would work with the Ogoni people to bring development, employment and growth to the land, remediate the environment and ensure that future exploration and production activities do not impact negatively on the environment.

Ali-Zarah noted that the large turn-out of people, including traditional rulers, at the event was a huge moral boost to NPDC’s confidence in its re-entry plan.
“Indeed, this is a clear testimonial and demonstration of the strong cordial relationship that has existed between us over the years. This, for us, is our social license to operate in this peace-loving community”, the Managing Director said.

He observed that it was in the best interest of the country to speedily restore the environment of Ogoniland and create the needed condition for the social economic development of the communities.

“As a viable partner, we would join you to pursue the greater good of our people and the nation. We stand with you and would work with you to achieve this within the shortest possible time,” he said.

On the communique submitted by the Ogoni Liberation Initiative signed by leaders of various communities that make up Ogoniland, Ali-Zarah assured them that he would send the document to the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for onward transmission to the relevant quarters, including the Presidency.

Oil production operations were suspended in Ogoniland in the early 1990s due to disruptions caused by local unrest. The oilfields and other installations have since largely remained dormant.

Hope was, however, rekindled last week following an Appeal Court judgment that paved the way for NPDC to take over the operatorship of the oil assets in Ogoniland from Shell.

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja upturned the August 23, 2019, ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja which held that the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) was entitled to the renewal of the Lease on OML 11.
In the ruling, the Appellate Court held that the Minister of Petroleum Resources has the discretion whether or not to renew the OML 11 Lease in favor of SPDC. The Court further held that the Minister rightly exercised his discretion in awarding the OML 11 Lease to NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

OML 11: Court Judgement Grants NPDC Right To Resume Operations

NNPC Towers
NNPC Towers
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has hailed the recent Appeal Court judgment affirming its operatorship of the Oil Mining License 11 (OML 11), describing it as a huge victory for Nigeria and the beginning of addressing decades of host community restiveness.

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Monday upturned the August 23, 2019 ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja which held that the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) was entitled to the renewal of the Lease on OML 11.

In the ruling, the Appellate Court held that the Minister of Petroleum Resources has the discretion whether or not to renew the OML 11 Lease in favor of SPDC. The Court further held that the Minister rightly exercised his discretion in awarding the OML 11 Lease to NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Garba Deen Muhammad, quoted the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, as saying that the ruling has paved the way for the NPDC to lead a formidable OML 11 team towards bolstering productivity in a responsible, efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable manner.

Accordingly, resumption of operations on OML 11 will demonstrate the NPDC’s full commitment to develop and add value to its communities and the nation as a whole.

“We now have an opportunity to reconstruct a new beginning on OML 11, driven by global best practices and a social contract that would put the people and environment of the Niger Delta above pecuniary considerations.

“This is a huge victory for the government and people of Nigeria as we now have the impetus to responsibly unlock the oil and gas reserves the block offers for the benefit of all Nigerians,” Mallam Kyari stated.

The statement further stated that the NPDC has taken over the assets and operations are in full gear, adding that the company is working closely with all stakeholders and partners to achieve the new vision of “responsible, smart engineering and environmental sustainability,” that the Federal Government has endorsed for OML 11.

The NNPC GMD stated that the NPDC will pursue promotion of clean energy via its gas production with prospects of gas-to-power initiatives to “light up opportunities in the region,” and provide the much deserved industrialization.

The statement noted that the environment will be a top priority for NPDC’s operations, as well as implementation of a robust host community engagement strategy to address subsisting issues, while agreeing to a transparent engagement model going forward.

The NNPC cautioned against any further legal challenge by the SPDC, stressing that it was about time Nigeria derived the benefit of the OML11 after over three decades.

“It is time to roll back the decades of despair and destruction with the emphatic Appeal Court ruling. It is time to unlock opportunities for economic development in the region.

“In the light of their inability to work on the Ogoni region of the block for over 30 years and the new beginning this judgement presents, further legal action by Shell will not only be futile, it would be depriving Nigeria of an opportunity to make meaningful gains from OML 11 when the nation needs all the revenue it can get to move Nigeria forward,” the GMD said.

Kyari Tasks NNPC Greenfield Refinery Ltd Board on Putting An End To Fuel Importation

GMD, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari (middle) flanked by members of the Board of NNPC Greenfield Refineries Limited (NGRL)
GMD, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari (middle) flanked by members of the Board of NNPC Greenfield Refineries Limited (NGRL)
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has charged members of the Board of the NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited (NGRL), to explore all available options to bring an end to the current challenge of petroleum products importation.

Mallam Kyari gave the charge Thursday while inaugurating the Board of the newly incorporated subsidiary of the Corporation, NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited (NGRL), at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
The NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited is a subsidiary of the Corporation set up in December 2020 with a mandate to oversee the establishment and operation of new refineries.

The GMD, who is also the Chairman of the NGRL Board, challenged members of the Board to focus on profitability in order to remain afloat and avoid liquidation.
“As a business, this is a big opportunity for us and this company’s balance sheet must change positively. Going forward, with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), I can tell you that if you continue to post negative for three years, you are out. So, there is really no excuse”, Mallam Kyari stated.

He urged the Board and Management Team of the new company to set up a proper structure with the requisit skills, technology and financing to drive the company’s operations, adding that he was optimistic that the company would be able to achieve its mandate.
“Our company must grow and we can’t do well except we are able to process our production whether it is the liquid or gas. If we don’t monetize it then we have done nothing. This is really a new chapter and we are committed to making it work,” he said.

The NNPC helmsman stated that all the Corporation’s initiatives in the areas of new refineries, condensate refineries and equity acquisition in credible private refineries were geared towards ensuring energy security for the country.

In his remarks, the Alternate Chairman of the Board and Group Executive Director, Refinery and Petrochemicals, Engr. Mustapha Yakubu, declared that the operations of the company would be guided by the principles of cost effectiveness in line with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), noting that profitability would be the key focus.
Speaking in similar vein, the Group General Manager, Greenfield Refineries and Project Division (GRPD) and Managing Director of the NGRL, Engr. Bege Talson, disclosed that the Division was working with third party investors to establish greenfield, modular and condensate refineries with a combined capacity of 250,000barrels per stream day (bpsd).
He pledged his team’s commitment to run the company profitably.
Other members of the Board include: Group Executive Director, Finance & Accounts, Mr. Umar Ajiya; Managing Director of the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), Engr. Oluwaseyi Omotowa; Managing Director of NNPC Retail, Mrs. Elizabeth Aliyuda; Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mr. Muhammad Ali-Zarah; and Tolulope Olubommo as Company Secretary and Legal Adviser.

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