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Mele Kyari wins Champion Newspapers’ 2023 Most Outstanding Energy Icon Award

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Blessing Akorowosi

The Group Chief Executive Officer, (GCEO) of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari has bagged Champion Newspapers’ 2023 Most Outstanding Energy Icon Award.

Kyari is known for his zeal in ensuring efficiency in the oil sector.

He has led the NNPCL to declare its first profit in 44 years; implement public disclosure of NNPC accounts, rally shareholders to take the FID for NLNG Train 7 and drive environmental policies for cleaner energy.

A letter announcing his nomination by the Group Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Champion Newspapers Limited, Dr. Mrs Nwadiuto Iheakanwa stated that Kyari has moved the Corporation to an enviable height with impressive global recognition.

Dr. Iheakanwa noted that under the awardee’s sterling leadership, oil theft has been put under close check and there is improved service delivery by the NNPCL.

She said, “on all scores, our findings, largely corroborated by that of independent assessors, put a seal to the grand perception that NNPCL under your leadership has not only emerged a dominant player in the Nigerian oil and gas sector but also a model as a dynamic global energy company with businesses and operations across the entire spectrum of the energy value chain.

“We note with delight, that NNPCL has become a symbol of care, providing solutions carefully engineered to drive wealth creation.

“Particularly outstanding is the energy and vibrancy exuded by the brand through your firm’s commitment  to full implementation of the  Petroleum Industry Act, an omnibus legislation overhauling the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry that also heralded the birth of a new Corporate entity, the NNPC Ltd., which you are currently leading.


“NNPCL steady rise as Africa’s fastest-growing and largest Energy company  with a clear vision for the future with experience and assets necessary to provide oil and gas on a regional and global scale has a reputation for  transparency,  service efficiency and customer reliability.

“As watch dog of the society, it is our duty not only to track and document your performance but also to acknowledge your commitment to serve and your doggedness to transform our nation. Only last year the corporation Flag-off Ceremony of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, a fully integrated in-situ development project comprising upstream production, oil refining, power generation and fertilizer that will attract over $3bn investment in fossil energy.

“Also, at COP28 in Dubai, NNPC Ltd sealed LNG deals for Domestic, International Markets with Agreement on 421 Tonnes Per Day Small-Scale LNG Project in Ajaokuta and MoU on Floating LNG.”

The NNPCL boss will be celebrated alongside other awardees at the award ceremony slated for Saturday May 25, 2024 at the Eko Hotels and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos.

Meanwhile, in his acceptance letter to Champion Newspapers, the GCEO noted that ‘’this recognition is deeply valued and underscores our commitment to excellence in the energy sector”.

It is exciting to note that currently NNPC Ltd, which has been on transition since the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has been championing the push to transform Nigeria into a gas-powered nation in keeping with its enormous natural endowment with over 209 trillion cubic feet proven natural gas reserves.

Recently at an event in Lagos the GCEO said, “We are   building gas infrastructure such as the OB-3 Gas Pipeline, AKK Gas Pipeline to deepen the use of gas in the domestic market, while we are also promoting the West Africa Gas Pipeline and the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, as well as the Train 7 of the NLNG and number of Floating LNG Projects to deliver gas to the global market,” Kyari stated.


The GCEO further noted that the NNPC Ltd is also aggressively expanding its portfolio in the power sector to make the company a truly rounded energy company.

“Apart from our stakes in a number of Independent Power Plants such as Afam VI, Okpai Phases 1 and 2 with a combined installed capacity of 1,420MW, there are plans to build three new power plants in the AKK Pipeline corridor Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano. The ground-breaking ceremony of the 1,350MW wholly owned Gwagwalada Power Plant was performed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in August last year” he added.

It would be recalled that Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, Group CEO of NNPC Ltd was appointed as the 19th Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC in July 2019 and later transitioned to the position of Group CEO after NNPC’s incorporation. With over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, he has been part of NNPC since 1991 and has held various roles within the corporation.

As the Group General Manager of the Crude Oil Marketing Division in 2015, Mr. Kyari made significant contributions to the success of NNPC and Nigeria. He optimally secured Federation entitlements from production/fiscal arrangements and resolved various disputes on PSCs, while also managing the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement of petroleum products to ensure energy security.

Mr. Kyari has been instrumental in championing transparency and accountability, promoting the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, and driving the transition to NNPC Ltd. He has also played a key role in resolving decade-long PSC disputes, unlocking deepwater opportunities, introducing cost discipline, rehabilitating ailing refineries and other critical downstream infrastructure, and deepening domestic gas utilization.

Under Mr. Kyari’s leadership, NNPC declared its first profit in 44 years and achieved numerous milestones such as public disclosure of NNPC accounts, rallying shareholders to take the FID for NLNG Train 7, transforming the corporation into a world-class organization, and leading concerted efforts in driving environmental policies for cleaner energy.

In addition to being a Fellow of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (FNAPE), Mr. Kyari serves as Nigeria’s National Representative to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting (OPEC) Economic Commission Board (ECB).

Overall, Mr. Kyari’s dedication to transparency, accountability, and performance excellence has contributed significantly to NNPC’s success and Nigeria’s energy sector as a whole. His outstanding achievements have had a positive impact on the company’s performance and reputation.

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