Nigerian youths have commended the group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Mallam Mele Kyari, for promoting transparency, probity, accountability, and good governance in the Nigerian oil and gas industry vis-à-vis his handling of the recent fuel subsidy removal initiative.
The youths, under the aegis of the Nigerian Youths Alliance (NYA) made this known in a statement co-signed by its national president, Ifeanyi Ogbu, and secretary, Yemisi Oluwadamiro, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
The group specifically lauded the NNPCL chief over his transparency in the company’s payment of an interim dividend of N123 billion to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the month of June, barely two months after the federal government stopped subsidy payments.
While calling on Nigerians to be patient with the government over the temporary pains caused by the removal of the petrol subsidy, the group urged the NNPCL chief to remain focused and avoid distraction sponsored by oppositions, anti-democratic elements and corrupt individuals who had fed fat by milking the country with the subsidy payment scheme.
According to the statement, “As Nigerian youths, even in these trying times, we must recognize, commend and encourage the efforts of our patriots who are having sleepless nights to ensure this nation works.
“Without mincing words, we know that at this time, fuel subsidy must go if this country must rise from its dying state and survive.
“Many oil marketers and corrupt individuals had become billionaires overnight at the expense of Nigerians with the continued payment of subsidies and these funds could have been channelled to better the lives of Nigerians and grow the economy.
“These individuals by their sheer unconscionable criminality subverted the noble idea behind the subsidy programme, which was for government to subsidize the cost of petrol to make it affordable to the masses. Rather than keep to the terms of the deal with government, these marketers and their crooked allies repeatedly divert and smuggle petroleum products to neighbouring countries where they sell at higher rates and thus make more profit even after collecting subsidy money from the Nigerian government.
“Though, it comes with sacrifices, but Nigerians must know that there is no gain without pain.
“Therefore, we commend the bold and audacious initiatives of the President Bola Tinubu
“The removal of the fuel subsidy is not about the president or the group chief executive officer of the NNPC Limited, but about the good and wellness of Nigerians.
“It’s however sad that oppositions and some corrupt elements who are angered that their ill source of wealth has been blocked with the removal of subsidy have continued to sponsor hatred and lies against the hardworking chief executive of the NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari.
“We are, however, not surprised because every genuine change for growth meets strong resistance and force, and someone must bear the brunt.
“In the history of the oil company, Mr. Kyari has proven to be man of selfless service, integrity, outstanding astute industry technocrat, a a professional par excellence.
“Nigerians will attest to the fact that Kyari’s achievements have surpassed all his predecessors for the past 20 years.
“He has distinguished himself to be a visionary and professional manager with a towering repertoire of the inner workings of the industry, having served in various positions over the years.
“In barely two months since the government stopped payment of fuel subsidy payment, he delivered a whopping N123 billion to FAAC. This is commendable.
“Before his assumption of office as the GMD of the defunct NNPC; there were a lot of unresolved and knotty issues lingering and hampering the sector from achieving its potential. He stepped in and proffered solutions to them.
“Even before the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which he promoted, Kyari convinced Nigerians of the new direction of the NNPC by making the financial books open transparently for public probity which has changed the opacity in the system.
“NNPC financial books have never been opened transparently for public scrutiny over the years, but Kyari changed the narratives.
“He has effectively deployed his wealth of experience to spearhead giant innovations which have helped in repositioning the NNPC today.
“In his bid to put an end to the business of oil thieves, in 2022, Kyari introduced the “Crude Theft Monitoring Application” (CTMA) to check the theft of Nigeria’s oil. The CTMA, which has been helpful in preventing oil theft, has application options for reporting incidents, with prompt follow-up and responses and another one for crude sales documents validation.
“Not quite long after Kyari assumed office, the stifling Covid-19 pandemic hit the world economy which adversely affected the petroleum industry real hard, the price of crude oil dropped sharply in the international market which affected our revenue earnings drastically but with resilience and careful handling of its affairs, we were able to come out stronger.
“While we plead with Nigerians to be patient as the dividends for their current pains will come soon, we urge the new NNPCL and its management to remain focused and sustain their good works even as the country navigates through these trying moments.”