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Kachikwu opens up about his time as NNPC GMD

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has spoken up about his time as Group Managing Director, GMD of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Kachikwu, who held the post for 11 months, stated that he was able to cut operational losses; deregulate the country’s downstream petroleum sector, amongst other things.

He said: “11 months ago, when the president asked me to take over the mantle of leadership of the NNPC, there was indeed an urgency of now, morale was low, things were haywire, there were lots of issues of transparency on the table. The profit index was very poor and the belief of Nigerians in the functionality and reliability of the NNPC was quite frankly at a questionable level.

“And the president felt the best way to start my career in the public service under him was first to go to NNPC as outsider and try to bring in certain new structures to help the place change its direction and focus.

“Looking back now, I think one must be very grateful to the president not just for the opportunity but for the foresight because I had my own doubts whether I could actually do that given the fact that I was an outsider and this is a very huge institution with over 30-40 years of experience which I was not built into.

“But he was persistent on that and looking back at what we have accomplished, I well understand now why he is the very wise president of the nation and I thank him very much for the opportunity that he has given me.

“Even when he appointed me minister of state sometime in September, despite all the pressures that he had to quite frankly decouple both positions, understandably, he remained steadfast in feeling that the process should run a course to a point where he is comfortable to decouple it. I think we have gotten to that point and I thank him for that opportunity.

“In the 11 months, let us just rethink some of the things we have achieved. First, we managed after very great difficulties to restructure the NNPC. It is a very massive restructuring that has been able to set out various parameters of the business as profit focused entities of their own. That was a major massive work.

“We have been able to cut operational cost by 30 per cent and save a massive amount of money for the group.

“We undertook deregulation at the time nobody thought was possible and if there is anything we leave for the industry, it must be the legacy of that deregulation. Today, our fuel consumption has gone down by about 30 percent. We have no queues in the filling stations, we have about one and half months of self-sufficiency. We have strategic reserves that we are putting together.

“We have downstream that is for the first time focused on a very strong P&L and I note with very strong satisfaction that if you compare the April results of downstream group with May results, you will see a massive turnaround from about N19 billion in loss to some level of profits.

“We succeeded in removing subsidy and saving over N1.4 trillion on yearly basis for this country. We have reduced upstream contracting period from average of two and half years to between six and seven months.”

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