Together we can fix oil and gas sector – NNPC GMD, Kyari, tells media
Recently, the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) led by the Group Managing Director Mele Kolo Kyari hosted the Exco of the Nigerian Guild of Editors at its head office in Abuja. The GMD, exuding so much confidence, invited the media to collaborate with the Corporation in its task to reposition the oil and gas sector. Excerpts.
I can hear from the introductions that this is the cream of Nigerian journalists, not just from the perspectives of being editors at some levels in your organization.
We do believe that this is the greatest honour that the Nigerian journalist can give to us by visiting us. This is because we realize and know that this is the cream of journalism as we all know that journalism is everything in today’s world.
You have been shaping policies, public opinion, creating a pathway and visions for states and organizations, and because the Guild of Editors comprises people who have paid their dues over time (through learning or experience) and have not just come to become media people, you’re policy makers and set policy direction and therefore there’s no better platform and traction than that which the Guild provides.
To underscore this significance, the highest levels of management in this company and all the other next level management staff are here to honour you and to recognise that together we have work to do.
We as management are aware of the challenges of the proper image the corporation suffers and this is for two reasons:
For one, we probably haven’t been transparent with the public and we recognize this and promise that we’re going to be transparent.
We’re also seen not to be accountable; we also promise that we’re going to be accountable to the shareholders of this company, which includes all of us and myself because NNPC is a company owned by all of us and so we all have the responsibility to make this company work.
You have a role to make sure that we do the work on your behalf. You’re not just editors of the news media, but also shareholders, so this company has to be run well by people you’ve appointed to run it for you.
We know this is the cream of the media. The best that we can think of have passed through this organization and many of them have ended up becoming owners of businesses, leaders of organisations or very highly placed officials of government.
It is a pathway of life that takes you to a point where after paying your dues you also continue to deliver to your country.
I promise that we’ll keep to our promise to be accountable and transparent.
What can the media do to help us? Hold us accountable when we are wrong and support us to do the right things and the combination of the two will ensure that NNPC delivers to its shareholders.
We will engage on regular basis and set up a framework of engagement so that we can understand where we’re going and you will understand what we’re doing so that people don’t assume what they think we’re doing.
As you’re aware, because of the advent of the social media; electronic media has taken over everything. Things have changed and that also has increased the risk of reporting.
Sometimes when we say fake news, they may not be fake, depending on who is looking at it. But the issues around fake news have become so significant. Just as people find it difficult to believe what they term fake news so also it is how some people do not believe what the NNPC says. So if we work together we can cure one part of it which is the oil and gas, so that we give you the right information and we’re truthful to you, even if we’ve done wrong and of course we’ll not do anything wrong deliberately, so that the reporting becomes factual and true.
If you hear anything about our business, talk to us directly so that you can hear and publish the truth; in that way we can grow this company and deliver on our mandate which we’re currently focused on making sure that we grow reserves for this country; there’s so much talk about growing reserves without activity.
A lot of businesses have come up but I don’t like giving excuses. We won’t give excuses.
Part of it are issues around the fiscal environment and legislation. Petroleum legislation efforts have been lingering since 1999. I have a very strong feeling that this government is determined to make this legislation work and we need the support of all of us so that together we will have appropriate legislation on the ground and investments will come back and the talks around reserves growth and production growth will become real.
As at today we’re importing 100% of our petroleum products, none of our refineries are running today and we’re determined to make sure that these refineries work. It is in our collective interest to make them work. It is a shame for all of us; not just NNPC. The reason they’re not working none of us can be absolved of it, including the President.
One way or the other all of us are accountable for the refineries not working, it is not all about the NNPC. We’re not going to lament anymore, we’re going to make it work.
Our other focus is to deliver gas to power and gas to industry. The issue of power is a big challenge in the country; from production of power to distribution to even recovering payments from consumers is a big chain of challenge. We’ll play our part which is by increasing gas supply to power and industry so that our economies can grow.
We will not stop there because we recognize that NNPC is an enabler organization, when you do that you’ll end up in a situation where the plant is there but you cannot get gas and even if it produces power you cannot deliver. We’ll look beyond to facilitate the process to make sure that this works for our country.
Gone are the days of speculation. We will tell you truth. It is because that communication gap existed that trust was lacking. We’re ready to review this so that the Guild will not dish out some scary editorial that will not stand the test of accuracy and we’ll not blame you because we did not make adequate information available to you. We’ll make information available to you so that together we can shape policy, set direction for our activities so that ultimately the oil and gas industry will continue to be the enabler it is, so that the rest of the economy will grow and jobs will be created across businesses and sectors and we have a great country that is working for all of us.