A civil society group, Society for Good Governance and Transparency (SoGGT), has slammed purveyors of fake news and their paymasters on the purported suspension of the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari, by President Bola Tinubu.
Early Saturday, the social media was agog with claims of the alleged suspension of Kyari by President Tinubu, barely 24 hours after the removal from office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiel and his subsequent arrest and detention by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The SoGGT in a press statement same day, described the rumour of Kyari’s sack as mischievous, calculated smear and attempt to dictate to the president by entrenched interests opposed to the reforms at the NNPCL.
“The alleged suspension of the CEO of the NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari, by President Bola Tinubu is cheap, mischievous and a calculated smear campaign by some entrenched forces not at ease with the reforms ongoing in the petroleum sector.
“It should be stated, and unequivocally too, that Mallam Kyari, that we have keenly watched his activities over time, is not a desperate person and is serving at the discretion of the president.
“While the PIB Act gives him a tenured office, he is still serving at the pleasure of the president and nothing more.
“Those who are flying this obnoxious kite should rather be worried for themselves as their antics to continue to scam and skim the system is no longer tenable,” the statement, signed by Prince Oyebanji Ademola and Sarki Inusa, national coordinator and secretary, respectively, stated.
According to the duo, the recent end to crude oil swap and relentless war against crude oil theft and vandalism of oil assets in the country has pitched the NNPCL against some of these economic saboteurs.
The SoGGT noted that under Kyari, the NNPCL has boosted daily oil production to over 1.6 million barrels per day, which has seen the country according to the Fourth Quarter 2022 figures, regained its position as the largest crude oil producer in Africa, ahead of Algeria’s 1.021 mb/d and Angola’s 1.088 mb/d in November 2022.
“Also, we note that the company posted its second consecutive year of ‘profit’ of N674.1 billion in the 2021 financial period and growing it from N287 billion in 2020. The figure represents an increase of N387 billion, or 134.8 per cent.
“In terms of gaining international confidence, the NNPCL and IOCs signed various Production Sharing Contracts, PSC, agreements that would ensure the production of about 10 billion barrels of crude oil and generate over $500 billion in revenue,” they added.