As the Federal Government, under the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, mulls sale of the NNPCL’s shares to further deregulate the nation’s oil giant and reposition it as a full blast private sector-driven entity to maximise more profits and also help it to enjoy a healthy existence, a key role player in the energy sector, Alhaji Muhammad Saleh Hassan, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that the current GCEO of the NNPCL, Malam Mele Kiari, remains in the vanguard of the reformation.
Hassan, who is the Chairman of Skymark Energy and Power Ltd, stressed that Kyari had the requisite professional skill, acumen, experience and track records of innovation, reformation and achievements in the industry to deliver the expected result with credibility.
Hassan also advised the president to retain Kyari as the head of the oil conglomerate “not only because of his plethora of achievements so far, but also because he is an expert, a technocrat and core professional who understands the dynamics of the industry and can deliver results than a new entrant who has never risen to his position could deliver.
He stated this in Abuja on Thursday in a chat with newsmen.
The Skymark Energy and Power Ltd boss also stressed that Tinubu had a knack for professionalism and competence in appointment of people into positions and would never sacrifice Kyari’s capacity on the altar of any sentiment by replacing him in the impending NNPCL’s reformation.
“We have a president that believes in competence and professionalism. He created the path and treaded it tenaciously in Lagos with appointment of professionals and competent hands into sensitive positions. This paid off when the technocrats and think thanks delivered with optimal results which earned his government a huge popularity and credibility in terms of performance.
Now that he is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he should do more by maintaining and even exceeding the momentum,” Hassan said.
He added: “At this juncture, it’s also sacrosanct for him to maintain technocrats and think tank that have been in sensitive positions before he came on board and not remove them in the name of changes.
If a professional, technocrat and think tank in positions has done very well with good track records, there is no need to remove him, especially now that the president is looking for such hands to bring on board. You don’t change a winning team. Doing so doesn’t make sense.
This is mainly because such unnecessary change breeds inconsistencies in government policies as well as beuracracies in a system. This is capable of unsettling a good structure, particularly in Federal Government agencies and ministries.
For instance, a technocrat and guru in the person of the Group Chief Executive Officer GCEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, who has been performing creditably and meritoriously in the nation’s energy sector with good track records, particularly with his efforts in making PIA a reality, should be retained to do more,” Hassan stressed .
He added: “Mele Kyari deserves continuity in office, not only because of his plethora of achievements but also for the purpose of consistency and the fact that he still has much more on his sleeve to deliver and achieve more results.”
“Apart from the PIA that came into place by his efforts, he was the one that ensured the transmogrification of NNPC to NNPC Limited in the effort to reposition the nation’s oil giant to maximise its potentials for optimal results.
Kyari also worked assiduously with Buhari for the removal of fuel subsidy which, under his watch as the head of the NNPCL came to reality under Tinubu as president.
He also fought fuel theft in the Niger Delta and halted the shenanigan.
Following Kyari’s crucial roles in the realisation of fuel subsidy removal vision, Tinubu should carry him along with the Economic Advisory Council, bring them together and design a way forward with a view to reducing or eliminating the current hardship occasioned by the removal.
While also speaking on the sale of the NNPCL shares which is in the offing, Hassan noted:”If the Federal Government intends to further deregulate the NNPCL by selling its shares, all it needs to do is bring Mele Kyari and his Economic Advisory Council together to achieve the purpose. Such a move can only augur well if Kyari, a strong stakeholder and initiator of ideas, innovations and strategies that eventuated in the transformation of the NNPC to NNPCL remains in the saddle and put in the vanguard of the move.”
Hassan who advised against irrational change of leadership in the oil company said: “If there is any new way that the new administration of President Tinubu would want to effect any further transformation in the NNPCL, bringing in another person at the helm of affairs other than Kyari would not augur well because it will slow down the process and hamper achievement of the purpose. It takes somebody like Kyari who has been in the terrain with requisite experience and skills to achieve such result.
“It is unarguable that Kyari has the capacity to deliver good result at all times. He has done creditably well in the industry. There is no NNPC GMD that has done more than he has done if their performances were to be juxtaposed with his achievements within the period he has been in the saddle.
“Just like the president knows, we all know that changes are important but should be effected only when they are very important and necessary. If not, status quo must be maintained, especially when there is need for people like Kyari and many others with good track records to be retained in their positions.
“Continuity and consistency are parts of the principles and ideologies of President Tinubu’s APC administration. Kyari is the author of the book because he started the reformation of the NNPC and brought it to the current Olympian height it occupies in the global oil industry spectrum today.
You can not review a book and leave out the author. He started the transformation and should be given the opportunity to finish the good work that he started. He has the capacity to do that and take the company to the next and desired level.”
Hassan however urged Kyari to maintain his performance and achievements frequency and do better, especially now that the Economic Advisory Council is considering sale of the NNPCL shares.
“He should deploy his capacity in both Nigeria and across the globe in supporting the president to achieve his administration’s vision for the oil giant with a view to delivering dividends of democracy to the citizenry through proceeds from the oil sector,” Hassan said.
While also giving kudos to the president for his impacts so far just a few days after he assumed office, he noted:”It is crystal-clear that President Tinubu is a decisive, proactive and innovative person who believes in hard work and positive results. Within a few days since he assumed office, he has taken so many decisive decisions in the nation’s economy that rekindles our hope of a democratic governance.
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The removal of fuel subsidy which he effected immediately he came on board, which Kyari had championed for two years, is an example of such proactive and economic benefit-driven decision.
“Against this background, it’s obvious that President Tinubu and Kyari are people of like minds which indicates that they can work together to achieve desired results.
It underscores the need for the president to retain Kyari in his position to be able to achieve what he wants his administration to achieve through him for the oil company and the nation.”
He added: “There is need for them to work together by bringing the Economic Advisory Council to a round table where they should all meet minds professionally to achieve the desired results.”
“Four years is like four months on a political scene. There is no time to bring in a new NNPCL head. Kyari, an old hand that understands the knitty gritty of the industry and who has added enormous values should be retained. Bringing a new person or new persons who will start thinking afresh of what to do will tantamount to waste of time. Doing so is not necessary because there are people who already know what to do and have been doing well. So, there is no need to change a winning team as I said earlier.
“Moreover, this is a government of continuity from Muhammadu Buhari’s administration with the same APC, the same political principles and ideologies. Tinubu is not here to make money, but to inspire policies and programmes that can engender democracy dividends.
“Tinubu needs an experienced expert like Kyari to drive his fresh vision. He should be mindful of elements that have penchant to misguide him because of their personal interest and pecuniary motive. It is obvious that some vultures are hanging around to descend on NNPC. That is why the president needs to work with experienced professionals and experts such as Kyari that have been in the industry who can guide him properly. Anything like removing Mele Kyari will waste his time and cost him so much. He may not know the cost now but will know later. Hassan also commended the idea of selling the NNPCL shares, following the prospects.
“Sale of the NNPCL shares is in order. It’s very key to its survival and prosperity. As a stakeholder, I have travelled across the globe, Instanbul, Canada, other oil- producing countries (OPC) for global people luncheon and discovered that it is only in Nigeria that a minister of petroleum would attend such meeting. This is just because the petroleum industry belongs to government and it has much interest in it.
But from otter countries, most people you see at the place are Managing Directors and CEOs of oil companies which are private. The whole world is transiting to a private-sector driven economy.
It has been proven over time that government maintains dominance in the country’s economy with extant interest and influence in it. That’s why the nation’s economy is always on its knees, crawling and can not fly fast to the desired prosperity height.
“It is high time government hands off the economy and allows it become a private-sector driven economy where investors would be excited to invest generously in it. This would go a long way in guaranteeing a pendulum capable of engendering economic prosperity and growth that the country has been yearning for.
It better for government to be a regulator instead of a business owner.
“Against this background, selling NNPCL’s shares and giving it to private owners would be a right step in a right direction. This will be good for the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Instead of government running around to borrow money and put debt pressure on its citizens, it is better to sell the NNPCL shares, invite foreign investors to invest in it, turn it around and make it more prosperous.
“Then government can only be collecting dividends instead of the worries over moribund refineries and other challenges in the oil sector that bring pains upon the citizenry.
“Inasmuch as government has influence on the NNPCL, there is no investor that would be interested in investing in it to turn it around. All the crises that have been ravaging the company are due to public owner and ‘it is our own’ mentality and underlying sabotage.But a private owner can not sabotage his company nor play with it.
His interest is to maintain it properly and make profit. At this level, the burden of maintenance will be off government’s houlders. It will only be enjoying its dividends and concentrate on governance and deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
“On this note, it is better for President Tinubu to privatise the NNPCL and make it NNPC Plc instead of NNPC Limited. He should bring Mele Kyari and the Economic Advisory Council together to draw an agenda with a view to achieving this. This is the right way to go now.
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