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New NNPC GMD, Kyari assumes office, vows to fight corruption, improve transparency



Baru, Kyari

In an advanced official inaugural speech cited by THE WHISTLER on Monday, the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has promised to the fight corruption and improve transparency as he takes over the affairs of the NNPC.

Kyari officially took over as NNPC’s new GDM on Monday, July 8, 2019, from Dr Maikanti Baru who retired on July 7, after attaining the statutory retirement age of 60 years.

The new NNPC GDM delivered the speech at a valedictory session held for the outgoing GMD, where he revealed out his plans to hit the ground running as well as the key areas the NNPC under his management will focus on.


1. Unveiling A Roadmap To Foster NNPC’s Global Excellence

As part of plans to achieve a sustained performance of the NNPC, Kyari said the corporation under his watch will unveil a road that would guide the corporation’s growth objectives both in the short and long term.

“In the next couple of weeks, the COOs will join me to unveil the NNPC Roadmap towards Global Excellence. The roadmap will guide our aspirations to achieve sustained outstanding performance to meet the short and long term growth objectives of the Corporation as we transit to a National Energy Champion.


2. Leveraging Technology and Innovation

“will continue to adopt technology & Innovation to refine our business processes in line with best industry practice, improve efficiency, block leakages and create desirable outcomes that will strengthen the NNPC brand.

“To build this brand, there is need to improve the synergy of teams and commitment to business objectives towards a unified enterprise view.”


3. Revive Nigeria’s Refineries To Stop ‘Painful’ Importation of Petroleum Products

“It is painful that nearly all our petroleum products requirements are imported despite the existence of our three (3) refineries and the numerous attempts by successive governments to encourage the establishment of private refineries. This has to stop.

“We will see to the successful completion of the ongoing rehabilitation of our refineries within record time. We will further encourage the establishment of private refineries either as independents or in some form of Public Private Collaboration. We will also provide every necessary support to the Dangote Refinery in order achieve timely startup.

“This we believe will help in making our Nation a net exporter of petroleum products within the life of this administration.”


4. Revamping Of All Downstream Infrastructure

“we will continue with the revamping and rehabilitation of all our downstream infrastructure particularly our pipeline network which has been subject of persistent attacks by vandals.  As a matter of responsibility, the NNPC will continue to ensure availability of petroleum products to our citizens despite the huge challenges associated with this task.”


5. Grow Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserve Base To 40 Billion

“In line with the aspiration to grow our Nation’s hydrocarbon reserve base to 40 billion barrels by the year 2020. We will sustain the tempo of the ongoing exploration campaign in the frontier basins, especially the Gongola Basin where His Excellence Mr. President flagged off the spudding of the Kolmani River II early this year.

“We will particularly focus on the growth of NPDC and to make it among the top three crude oil producing companies in the country within three (3) years.

“On the gas sector, our strategic aspiration is to open the domestic market further to support improved power generation and the growth of gas-based industries. NNPC will be ready to partner and support stakeholders along the power value chain to guarantee improved power generation and transmission and boost industrial growth.


6. Exploit Untapped Opportunities In Renewable Energy

“NNPC will seek to exploit the untapped opportunities in Renewable energy value chain to promote investment diversification in clean energy. This is aim at transforming the corporation from Oil and Gas entity to an Energy Corporation.

“We will broaden our involvement in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitment of the Federation in order to further elevate citizens’ participation in the business of our National Oil Company.


7. Improved Transparency, Accountability, and Performance Excellence In NNPC

“Under my leadership, NNPC will strive to be more credible, competent and accountable institution that manages the oil resources on behalf of the citizens of Nigeria in accordance with its mandate and the core persuasions of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We have a strong foundation to build on, and willing partners to work with. Building on our experience in EITI reporting and close collaboration with NEITI, NNPC is now committed to joining the EITI’s targeted effort on State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) transparency as a means of sharing best practices and improving disclosure of information on the management of the Nation’s oil and gas revenues.

“For NNPC to maintain positive image, more transparency, shared values of integrity and professionalism must permeate every level of the Corporation.”


8. Fight Against Corruption

“My dear colleagues, we know that corruption cannot thrive without discretion. We will ensure all avenues for discretion are eliminated by continuously improving our systems and processes. Where serious infraction occur, we will ensure the full weight of the law is applied.

“The COOs and I will take full responsibility to ensure that the necessary enablers are in place to guarantee the excellent performance of businesses under their respective portfolios.

“We shall provide the needed leadership with Inspiration & Integrity, and together we shall shape the future of NNPC to a globally recognized brand. God willing, we will make it happen.

“We will expand the frontiers of collaboration and alignment with our critical stakeholders, including but not limited to the legislature, security agencies, regulatory authorities, business partners, state governments, host communities, the media and all other relevant institutions. This is in order to maximize the benefits of the oil and gas industry to the Nation.”

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Sowore: Falana replies DSS, says DG has stopped taking his calls



Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said that though he has an official relationship with the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, the secret police boss has stopped answering his calls over Omoyele Sowore.
Falana said this while responding to the an earlier statement of Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS.

Afunanya had accused Falana of playing to the gallery rather than reaching Bichi.

In his response, Falana admitted that he he has an official relationship with the DSS DG but said Bichi has refused to speak with him since the agency refused to release Omoyele Sowore, his client who is the convener of the Revolution Now Movement, despite a court order granting him bail.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no condition is attached to the order of the federal high court for the release of both detainees. Therefore, the SSS is aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification,” Falana said.

“In view of the reckless insinuations of the SSS I am compelled to point out that my colleagues and I did not risk our lives for the purpose of  substituting military dictatorship for civilian autocracy. It is pertinent to point out that suspects who were presumed innocent under the defunct military junta were not exposed to the crude intimidation that has become the lot of Sowore and Bakare.

“Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992 we were released after we had met the bail conditions.  On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had  been verified by the trial court. I demand for nothing less for my clients  under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the Rule of Law.

“I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS. But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS. With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court I shall take appropriate action under the law.

He asked the secret police to release Sowore and Olawale Bakare, also an activist, from “illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule.”

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We can only release Sowore to his sureties, says DSS



DSS DG, Bichi

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it is ready to release Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3 and subsequently flown to Abuja where he has been detained.

A federal high court in Abuja had granted him bail but the activist is yet to regain freedom even after fulfilling his bail conditions.

This had prompted a nationwide outrage and protest at the headquarters of the agency. There were reports of assault on the protesters on Tuesday.

But in a statement sent to The Witness on Wednesday, Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, said operatives of the agency, did not open fire on protesters but prevented those who wanted to forcefully break into the agency to release Sowore.

Read the full statement below:

The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to state that its operatives did not open fire on alleged protesters who had stormed its facility on 12th November, 2019.

As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye SOWORE.

Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible Organisation, did not shoot at the so called protesters. It could not have done so.

For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE.

While all those that have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and therefore unqualified, many others have either chosen to grandstand or politicise it to achieve hidden interests.

In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers. The media is called upon to be neutral and remain champions of the truth.

It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them. It is even more disappointing that Femi FALANA, who is a senior lawyer, would wrongly guide his client and supporters. He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Service restates its commitment to the rule of law and particularly respect to the Court. It, therefore, calls for calm but states that it will not be intimidated or harassed into hasty actions.

It reassures the public that it will not waste a second to release SOWORE if the proper processes are followed. And FALANA, sure, knows what these are.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
13th November, 2019

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APC suspends Edo gov, deputy, SSG over alleged anti-party activities



Leaders of the All Progressives Congress APC, in Edo State have suspended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu and the Secretary to the state Government, Osarodion Ogie for alleged anti party activities.

A chieftain of the party, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale stated this while briefing journalists in Benin City on Wednesday.

Details later.

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