Kyari formally takes over as NNPC GMD

… Vows to make refineries fully operational

The 19th Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Melee Kolo Kyari, takes over from his predecessor, Maikanti Baru, who retired from the service of the corporation on July 7 after attaining the statutory 60 years retirement age.

Until his appointment, Mr Kyari was Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC. He was also the Nigerian National Representative at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 2018.

Most oil industry players see Mr Kyari as reform-minded technocrat who is committed to the emergence of an open, transparent and accountable industry based on international best practice, principles and standards.

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, describes Mr Kyari as “a well-known transparency champion and one who enthusiastically shares the principles which underline the work of NEITI and the global EITI on good governance of the oil and gas industry.”


Mr Kyari comes to the job as the 19th GMD of the NNPC with a rich profile of professional and service credentialsA geologist, Mr 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.

A 1987 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree holder in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Maiduguri, Mr 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, Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Meanwhile, Kyari has vowed to make all the four refineries in the country working before 2023.

He made this pledge at the valedictory session organised for the outgoing group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, held at NNPC Towers in Abuja.

“We will deliver all our four refineries within the life of President Buhari’s administration. We shall seek strategic partnerships to ensure Nigeria becomes a net exporter of petroleum products,” he said.

He also stated his resolve not to compromise on his stand for transparency and accountability.

“To my family members, from today, if you accept any gift from anyone, then it is not from me. So those who want to give my family members gifts, let them know that my family members can never influence me,” he said.

In his remarks, he thanked President Buhari for the chance to serve with a promise to deliver on the mandate of the corporation.

“I’ll like to thank President Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve. It is a challenge and I promise to do this job with integrity. I will never do anything against the interest of this Corporation,” he stated.

The current NNPC boss joins a long list of Nigerians who had given a timeline to make the nation’s refineries fully operational but only time will tell.

In May 2017, Ibe Kachikwu, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources during an interview on BBC World Service programme, HardTalk, anchored by Stephen Sackur vowed to resign if Nigeria’s refineries were not working by 2019.

Unfortunately, he failed to meet the target and also did not honour his word by resigning from his position as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

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