Kyari: When Competence Meets Courage By William Ochonu

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When competence meets courage, momentous occasions can unfold. Individuals with these characteristics are not hesitant to take chances, and they are not afraid to fail. They are also not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, even when it is unpopular. It’s because courage is the linchpin of character.

A man of such competence and courage is Mele Kolo Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited(NNPCL). A man who has had a profound influence on the National Oil Company and the petroleum industry in Nigeria. He has been instrumental in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which is a landmark piece of legislation that has positively transformed the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Kyari has a wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry, having worked in various capacities at the NNPCL for over 27 years. He is a highly respected technocrat who is known for his integrity and commitment to excellence.

Under Kyari’s leadership, the NNPCL has made significant progress in improving its operational efficiency and transparency. He has also introduced a number of initiatives to boost the company’s revenue and profitability.

One of Kyari’s most notable achievements is the passage of the PIA. The PIA is a comprehensive piece of legislation that will reform the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It is expected to create a more transparent and competitive environment for oil and gas exploration and production. It also led to the establishment of new regulatory bodies such as the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The PIA is a major step forward for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It will help to attract investment and boost production. It will also lead to increased government revenue from oil and gas.

Kyari has played a key role in helping to midwife the PIA. He worked tirelessly to build consensus among stakeholders and to secure the necessary approvals from the government. He is a visionary leader who has shown great determination and commitment to transforming the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

In addition to his work on the PIA, Kyari has also made significant progress in other areas. He has overseen the expansion of the NNPC’s gas infrastructure and the development of new gas-fired power plants. He has also launched a number of initiatives to improve the NNPC’s corporate governance and transparency.

Being a highly respected leader who has made a significant contribution to the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Kyari remains a man of integrity and commitment, one who is dedicated to transforming the industry and making it more efficient, transparent, and profitable.

In a view of more specific examples of Kyari’s impact on NNPC, it was recorded that:


He initiated the process of divesting NNPC’s non-core assets.


He led the development of the NNPC’s 2020-2024 Strategic Roadmap, which outlines a plan to transform the organization into a more efficient and profitable entity.

He also negotiated a $1.2 billion loan from the World Bank to help NNPC finance its capital expenditure program.

He terminated the contract with Vitol, a Dutch oil trader, which was accused of corruption.

He signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dangote Group to build a new refinery in Nigeria.

He launched the NNPCL’s gas expansion program, which aims to increase Nigeria’s gas production and exports.

Listed above, is just to mention a few in his distinguishable harem of beauties and magnanimous efforts in fostering the growth of our darling nation.

Kyari is a man of courage and he has demonstrated this time and time again in his career at the Nigerian NNPCL. He has never succumbed to pressure from critical situations faced, but instead, he works his way into solutions.

Looking back at the 2016 fuel crisis. At that time, there was a shortage of fuel in Nigeria, and the government was struggling to import enough fuel to meet demand. Kyari took charge of the situation and worked tirelessly to resolve it. He negotiated with oil producers to increase production, and further worked with the government to streamline the import process. As a result of his efforts in the front line struggles, the fuel crisis was resolved within a few months.

Not forgetting the 2017 oil price crash. At the time, the price of oil fell by more than 50%, which had a devastating impact on the Nigerian economy. Kyari took steps to mitigate the impact of the oil price crash, including reducing NNPCL’s spending and increasing its focus on renewable energy in salvaging the situation at the moment . As a result of his efforts, NNPC was able to weather the storm and emerge from the oil price crash in a stronger position.

Being a strategic thinker who has developed a long-term plan for NNPC’s growth and development, he knew that the 2023 fuel subsidy removal wasn’t a mountain challenge to be feared, as it was part of the plans to further fight corruption, and help build the Nigeria of our dream.

Prior to the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy by Mr President, Bola Hamed Tinubu, Kyari kick-started the classified plans that were projected in different phases of execution, which were meant to cushion the effect of the removal, and also see to the uninterrupted availability and accessibility of fuel all around the country.

Though it appeared like plans are not in full gear because such action like the fuel subsidy removal isn’t what every Nigerian is accustomed to, but in no time, it would be a thing of the past like every other resolved challenges as each phase of the plans subsequently becomes fully implemented one after the other, and this will further prove to everyone that there is no supply issue as stipulated by the unlearned detractors.

Kyari has also demonstrated courage in his dealings with corruption. He has been outspoken in his condemnation of corruptible practices at the NNPC. He has taken steps to get it rooted, and further worked to improve transparency and accountability at NNPCL. As a result of this efforts, NNPCL is now a more transparent and accountable organization.

Kyari’s courage has made him a valuable and indispensable asset to NNPCL. He is a man who is not afraid to take on difficult challenges, and he is always willing to fight for what he believes in. He is a true leader, and he is making a real difference in Nigeria.

In addition to the aforementioned critical situations, Kyari has also faced other challenges during his time at NNPCL. For example, he has had to deal with the Niger Delta crisis, the Biafra agitation, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In each of these cases, Kyari has shown courage and determination in leading NNPC through difficult times.

Kyari’s courage is not limited to his professional life. He is also a courageous man in his personal life. He has faced many challenges, including the death of his wife and the kidnapping of his son. However, he has always shown strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

Kyari’s impact on NNPC has been significant. He has made the organization more efficient, transparent, and accountable. He has also laid the foundation for NNPC’s future growth and development. He is a visionary leader who is committed to making NNPC a world-class oil and gas company.

Kyari is a man of great courage and determination. His pragmatic and decisive leadership acumen has helped to improve NNPCL’s operational efficiency and profitability. He is a leader who is not afraid to make tough decisions, even when they are unpopular.

He understands that the exercise of any virtue requires the capacity to endure hardship, conquer fear and temptation, therefore, he choose the riskier and more strenuous path when he’d rather take the easier way out.

Kyari is results-oriented and has delivered on his promises to improve NNPC’s performance. He is a true leader, and he is making a real difference in Nigeria. He is an inspiration to us all.

Ochonu wrote this piece from NASS, Abuja.

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