By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with the immediate past Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, at the State House, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Baru used the opportunity of the meeting to officially present the new GMD of the NNPC, Malee Kyari, to the president.
Baru, who spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said: “The purpose of coming to see Mr President is to carry out a symbolic handover of the new team led by Malam Malee Kyari to Mr President.
“No matter what we did in terms of transition, they have their own programmes and vision of what they want to do.
“We are now the airbus pilots that are relaxing and cruising at an altitude and you cannot give them a vision of the jet fighter pilot that the NNPC requires.
“They will engage the president at the appropriate time and get his blessing. I spent 1,099 days on the saddle of the corporation and can’t wait to present young vibrant team.’’
Baru challenged the new NNPC management to improve on the achievements so far recorded at the corporation, saying that his tenure had succeeded in stabilising the supply of fuel to the economy.
He also called on the management to put in place necessary measures that would ensure the immediate commencement of exportation of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
“We expect where we have stabilised the supply of fuel to the economy, they will make sure they start exporting products to neighbouring countries. I am so convinced that this team will deliver,’’ he said.
Kyari, who also addressed the correspondents, said the corporation would partner with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to check any form of corruption in the system.
He explained that the partnership was in line with the Buhari administration’s cardinal principle to contain with corruption so that the country could benefit from its resources.
“We need the help of EFCC wherever we see infractions in our systems (or that) compromise our systems,’’ he added.
NAN reports that Kyari took over as the 19th GMD of NNPC from Dr Maikanti Baru on July 8.
Until his appointment, Kyari, a geologist, was the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC.
He also doubled as Nigeria’s Representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since May 13, 2018.