President Muhammadu Buhari has again been asked to immediately sack the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, “for gross incompetence.”
This call was made on Thursday by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and allied civil society groups under the aegis of the Coalition of the National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs).
The group claimed in a statement made available to Informationng that Mr. Kyari’s remarks justified supporting the idea that he ought to be fired for still operating the organisation in the same manner despite the change in identity.
The statement was jointly signed by the Secretary General of CNPP, Willy Ezugwu, and the National Secretary of CNCSOs, Ali Abacha.
According to the statement, “the only option left for the NNPC GCEO Mallam Mele Kyari is to resign forthwith.”
The groups were reacting to media reports credited to Mr Kyari that the NNPC should not be blamed for the persistent smuggling of petroleum products across the borders and his claims that his life was being threatened for working to reform Nigeria’s oil sector.
They said by “blaming continued smuggling of petroleum products on sustained corrupt subsidy regime, with no individual or company undergoing diligent prosecution, the NNPC has proved beyond reasonable doubts that the management team of the company needs immediate replacement as they have run out of profitable ideas.”
“Today, the perennial petroleum products scarcity occasioned by corruption and incompetence on the part of the NNPC management team led by Mallam Kyari remains an ugly part of the daily lives of poor masses in Nigeria who cannot afford a single meal per day due to high cost of food and other basic needs.
“Out of experience, Nigerians are aware that any marginal increase in the pump price of petroleum products results in an obvious increase in food prices as the movement of goods from one location to another depends largely on road transportation.
“This is why the secret in the pump price of petrol, and non-availability of fuel at most fillings stations, including those operated by the NNPC, remain the indelible footprints of incompetent managers of Nigeria’s petroleum resources.
“We were shocked that while speaking at a summit organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Mallam Kyari insinuated that `as long as arbitrage is there, you will continue to have these issues and you cannot hold NNPC accountable for it because it is a value chain that involves everything and everybody.`
“This obvious expression of helplessness by the GCEO of NNPC Limited is the highest level of the display of incompetence by the managers of Nigeria’s oil industry, as leadership is all about taking responsibility and providing solutions to challenges.
“The trademark of the NNPC has been the manufacturing of excuses. Is NNPC saying that they cannot set up a monitoring team and systems that will ensure that fuel lifted from their depots is delivered at the assigned destination in this computer age?
“Recently, the same NNPC blamed fuel scarcity in the country on the flooding of Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. Today, the company has returned to the age-long tale of blaming smuggling for fuel scarcity, even when the Federal Government has all the security apparatuses to arrest such trends should there be such sabotage.
“The question is; why has NNPC not initiated any new refinery project if it thinks that fuel subsidy is a major problem?” the statement said.
On the alleged threats to his life by those who are opposed to changes caused by the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, the coalition said, “the GCEO of NNPC gave himself out when he said that “There is a threat to life, I can say this, I have several death threats, but we are not bothered about this”.