Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.), has emphasised the imperative for collaboration between academia and the Oil & Gas Industry to tackle the challenges of energy sufficiency and sustainability. His remarks came during the 2024 Faculty Lecture at Obafemi Awolowo University, where he served as a Guest Lecturer.
During the lecture themed “Energy Security, Sustainability and Profitability in Nigeria: Advances, Challenges and Opportunities,” a statement by Olufemi O. Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd. said, Kyari underscored the pivotal role academic institutions like OAU play in ensuring national energy security through research and collaborative efforts with the industry.
Highlighting the obstacles to energy security in Nigeria, including population growth, pipeline vandalism, and crude oil theft, Kyari proposed energy conservation, diversification, and efficiency measures as crucial avenues for enhancing the country’s energy security.
Expressing concern over the projected rapid population growth, Kyari stressed the need to find sustainable solutions for energy security that would benefit both current and future generations. He pointed out the intensified competition for resources and urbanization drive, which is expected to double Nigeria’s energy demand by 2050.
Addressing the challenges posed by pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, Kyari revealed that NNPC Ltd.’s Command-and-Control Centre has significantly contributed to combating these issues. The establishment of the center has enabled the detection and destruction of illegal refinery sites, as well as the removal of illegal connections, thus curbing vandalism across operating corridors since 2021.
Kyari disclosed, “The centre provides live-streaming of surveillance data to security forces, contributing to the detection and destruction of over 5,686 Illegal Refinery (IR) sites and the removal of 4,480 Illegal Connections (ICs) from 2021 to the present.”
Acknowledging the severity of vandalism and oil theft, Kyari hinted at a strategic shift by focusing on increased products trucking and storage in underground tankages at NNPC filling stations nationwide. He also highlighted NNPC Ltd.’s expanded retail assets, solidifying its position as the largest single downstream company in sub-Saharan Africa after acquiring OVH retail stations and associated downstream infrastructure in 2021.
Emphasising NNPC Ltd.’s transformation into a fully commercial limited liability energy company following the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021, Kyari noted that the removal of fuel subsidies has enabled the company to play a more active commercial role, ensuring profitability and delivering greater value to Nigeria’s growing population.
This insightful discourse by Mr. Mele Kyari reflects NNPC Ltd.’s commitment to navigating challenges, fostering collaboration, and spearheading innovations for a resilient and sustainable energy future in Nigeria.