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New NNPC Boss, Kyari, Speaks Tough on Corruption

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Malam Mele Kyari
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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja 

The new Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mallam Mele Kyari, on Tuesday, said his administration will automate all the NNPC systems to stamp out corruption in the sector.

He made this known to journalists after he met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kyari assumed office on Monday, after a formal handing over ceremony by the immediate past GMD, Dr.

Maikanti Baru at the NNPC Towers.

The new GMD who spoke to State House correspondents on Tuesday, alongside his predecessor, Dr. Baru, said that he was aware of the enormous responsibility before him and promised not to disappoint President Buhari and the country on the confidence reposed in him.

He said that he would work closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fight corruption in the corporation.

“We are going to work with EFCC and other institutions. Institutions that are involved in controlling and contending any form of corruption in our system.

“This is in line with Mr. President’s cardinal principle to contain corruption so that this country can benefit from its resources.

“There will be corruption where there is no discretion. So we will automate our systems and processes so that discretion is reduced to the barest minimum.

“We need the help of the EFCC wherever we see infractions in our systems,” Kyari added.

On the expected responsibility, he said, “It is clear, I was part of the team that has been working assiduously since he (former GMD) resumed office.”

He boasted that he understood the gravity of the assignment given to him, the trust associated with the work and the high expectations of Mr President for them to make the corporation a global brand of excellence and to deliver to the citizenry the benefits of the oil and gas industry.

Speaking further, Kyari said: “We are focused on ensuring that we deliver this in the shortest possible time and in the most efficient way. I assure all of us that we will do this work with integrity. I will ensure that by 2023 Mr. President will look back and confirm that he has not misplaced his trust first of Dr. Baru and transferring it to us is a testament of the confidence Mr. President has for the corporation.

“We will make sure at the end of the day that the corporation becomes an integrator of the economy.”

Also speaking, Baru said it was his expectation that the new management of NNPC would do more than double what he did.

He said, “I am not setting a high target for them but I know this team are the jet factor fellows, that will zoom up, dive, come back and steady the corporation and make sure it becomes definitely the largest in Africa and make serious contribution to Nigeria’s economy.

“We expect where we have stabilize the supply of fuel to the economy, they will make sure they start exporting products to Neigbouring countries. I am so convinced that this team will deliver.

“The purpose of coming to see Mr. President is to carry out a symbolic handover of the new team led by Mallam Melee 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 Mr 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.”

On involvement of private marketers in kerosene products, Baru gave reasons the corporation allowed private marketers to be involved.

He said: “Kerosene is all over now. When we came there was so much difference between what we were selling kerosene and what was available. Fuel at depots when we came on board was N76 per liter but it was settling between 250-300, so the common man was not getting the kerosene.

“So all what the government and NNPC was doing was bleeding and we resolved to make it available. That was why we invited the private sector to come in; NNPC stepped back and they were selling at N210 per liter.

What we did was to allow the market forces to determine the price.”

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Dangote Industries Ltd. Confirms Minor Fire Outbreak at its Refinery

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Dangote Industries Ltd. has confirmed a minor fire incident at its Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) in Lagos on Wednesday and which was swiftly contained.

The Group Head of Corporate Communications at Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

Chiejina said: “There is no cause for alarm as the refinery is operating and there is no recorded injury or harm to any of our staff on duty.

He said that emergency services responded on time to contain the incident.

Although initial reports said no injuries were sustained.

According to him, the cause of the fire is currently unknown, and investigations are underway to determine the extent of the damage and the cause of the incident.

The Dangote Refinery is a massive project with a projected refining capacity of 650,000 barrels per day.

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NSCDC Uncovers Illegal Bunkering Sites in Rivers Cemeteries

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has busted illegal crude oil refining sites at cemeteries in Abalama and Oproama Communities in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The security outfit said the feat was achieved by its Marine Anti-vandal Squad after a four hour operational tour on water across the two coastal communities.

Speaking to newsmen after the operation, the NSCDC spokesman, Rivers State Command, Superintendent Olufemi Ayodele, said its operatives successfully uncovered the illegal bunkering sites through credible and sustained intelligence.

Ayodele recalled that the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, gave a marching order to all formations in the Niger Delta to step up intelligence and operational efficiency in the fight against oil theft and illegal oil bunkering activities.

He expressed worry about how the miscreants devised a new means of converting cemeteries to illegal bunkering sites, saying they had already loaded several illegally refined crude and refined Automotive Gas Oil also known as diesel was sighted in boats by the riverside.

The state NSCDC image maker however said on sighting its operatives the hoodlums took to their heels though they were giving a hot chase, pointing out that men of the Marine Anti-Vandal Squad are on their trail to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted.

He stated, “Acting on this directive the Rivers State Commandant of the NSCDC, Basil Igwebueze, deployed the Marine Anti-vandal Squad to the crime scene where several boats filled with crude oil and refined Automotive Gas Oil were sighted.

‘This is the Abalama community and behind us is the Oproama community as well where Cemeteries were converted to illegal bunkering sites; Upon our arrival, the suspects took to their heels knowing the squad had superior firepower.

‘The NSCDC as an environmentally friendly agency condemns outright all acts of environmental pollution, degradation of aquatic life and economic sabotage.

“We have contacted some good people in the two communities and they are cooperating with us so that the perpetrators would be apprehended in due course. However, the quantities in litres of the locally refined AGO cannot be ascertained.”

He added, “Consequently, the NSCDC Rivers State Command helmsman has further issued a stern warning against the activities of vandals and illegal bunkers in the state affirming that the fight against oil theft is a relentless war and suspects arrested with their sponsors would be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

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Energy and Power

Oil, Electricity Workers’ Unions Mobilise for Planned Strike

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to comply with the directive of the two labour centres to begin an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday.

Its General Secretary, Mr Afolabi Olawale, in a statement on Saturday, said the union was committed to ensuring total compliance with the directive.

Recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) declared an indefinite nationwide strike to begin on Monday, to express their grievances over the proposed new minimum wage.

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In a joint statement signed by NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero and TUC President, Mr Festus Osifo, the centres declared the strike over the tripartite committee’s inability to agree on a new minimum wage and the hike in electricity tariff.

Afolabi said the union was concerned and disturbed with the insensitive attitude of the federal government “to the very critical issue of negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers”.

“This is in view of the various socio- economic policies of this administration that have impoverished the working people of this country.

“Leaders of our great union at all levels, from the units, zones and branches, should immediately put all processes in place to ensure total compliance with this directive.”

Also, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) said it was mobilising its members to embark on the strike following the directive of NLC and TUC.

The Acting. General Secretary, Mr Dominic Igwebike, gave the directive to the members in a statement.

Igwebike said that along with the reasons of inconclusive negotiations on the minimum wage and electricity tariff hike, apartheid categorisation of Nigeria electricity consumers into bands was another, to embark on the strike.

“Given the above, all national, state, and chapter executives are requested to start the mobilisation of our members in total compliance with this directive to ensure the government does the right thing as stated above.

“The withdrawal of services becomes effective on Sunday 2nd June by 12.00 midnight, “ the union leader said. (NAN)

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