It was an enthralling experience for Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as he bagged the Man of the Year award at the 7th Anniversary of the NewsDirect newspaper in Lagos.
An elated Baru thanked the selection committee for finding it appropriate to nominate and select him as the Man of the Year by the newspaper, NNPC management including well-wishers. He expressed excitement for the award. The GMD was ecstatic to witness the epic occasion and made it known that it was heartwarming for him to see the fourth estate of the realm identifying itself in developing critical sector of the nation’s economy of which the oil and gas industry plays a leading role. This has been sustained over the years. Baru acknowledged that NNPC has listened carefully to different submissions made by stakeholders and will definitely make reforms within the system and the industry in order to address challenges in the economy.
The NNPC boss revealed that over the past three months, the country has sustained crude oil production, petroleum products, natural gas pipelines and strategic aspects of the industry while upgrading the refineries as well. The corporation has received the proposal of making the refineries topping plants which is already part of the programme it had to rehabilitate them. He submitted that “The government is raising funds as part of its rehabilitating process which is one of the innovations that NNPC brought into the industry.” The GMD stated further “It is also raising fund for the upstream sector through finance arrangement not only for new projects but fund exiting ones to be able to make up for JV exit cash calls.”
On pipeline vandalism, the corporation will “embark on electronic surveillance and a response team that will liaise with the security agencies for quick intervention. The efforts of government and operators of the industry is to engage the host communities as well as the political class to bring in security and peace in the region so as to protect the pipelines and keep them operating.” Baru decried that unfortunately, there are few areas where some unscrupulous elements are still interfering in pipeline vandalism and disrupting economic activities in the affected areas.
The NNPC helmsman commended Nigerian NewsDirect for recognizing him through the award which is an acknowledgement of the works NNPC has been doing. He dedicated the Man of the Year award to the entire NNPC workforce for their unflinching support. The award will not only spun him to action but the NNPC workforce will be more dedicated towards achieving goals for the oil industry, he added.