Baru is new NNPC boss Kachikwu heads cor­po­ra­tion’s 9-man board

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Isi­aka Wak­ili & Daniel Adugbo

D r Maikan­tiKa­calla Baru yes­ter­day emerged as the new Group Man­ag­ing Direc­tor (GMD) of the Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC).

The ap­point­ment brings to an end months of spec­u­la­tion and sus­pense over who takes charge at the oil com­pany since the con­fir­ma­tion of Dr Em­manuel Ibe Kachikwu as min­is­ter last Novem­ber.

Kachikwu will now head the board of the NNPC after the ap­proval for its com­po­si­tion by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by the Spe­cial Ad­viser to the Pres­i­dent on Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The state­ment said the pres­i­dent’s ap­proval was done in line with Sec­tion 1(2) of the

Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion Act of 1997 as amended.

The new board has Min­is­ter of State for Petroleum, Em­manuel Ibe Kachikwu, as chair­man. Other mem­bers of the board in­clude the new NNPC GMD Maikanti Ka­calla Baru; the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of the Fed­eral Min­istry of Finance; Chief of Staff to the pres­i­dent Mal­lam Abba Kyari; Dr Thomas M.A John; Dr Pius O. Akinyelure; Dr Ta­jud­deen Umar; Mal­lam Mo­hammed Lawal, and Mal­lam Yusuf Lawal.

Adesina said Buhari urged the new board to en­sure the suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery of the man­date of the NNPC, “and serve the na­tion by up­hold­ing the pub­lic trust placed on them in man­ag­ing this crit­i­cal na­tional as­set.”

End of spec­u­la­tion

Kachikwu had in Novem­ber last year after his ap­point­ment as min­is­ter said he would re­main the head of the NNPC for a while.

There had been con­cerns in the in­dus­try over the dou­ble roles of Kachikwu as a su­per­vi­sor/reg­u­la­tor and a player in the oil sec­tor.

Three prom­i­nent names in­clud­ing Dr. Baru had been men­tioned sev­eral times since Oc­to­ber 2015 as pos­si­ble re­place­ment for Kachikwu.

But a March restruc­tur­ing at NNPC con­sumed Baru who was then the cor­po­ra­tion’s Group Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor (Ex­plo­ration and Pro­duc­tion).

He was re­de­ployed to the petroleum min­istry to serve as Tech­ni­cal Ad­viser Up­stream to the Min­is­ter of State.

Baru, who in­dus­try play­ers de­scribe as a first class in­dus­try expert, re­turns to the NNPC after work­ing in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties in both the up­stream and down­stream arms of NNPC.

Who is Dr Baru?

Dr. M. K. Baru who hails from Bauchi State at­tended Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity, Zaria, in Kaduna State of Nige­ria where he ob­tained Bach­e­lor of En­gi­neer­ing (Me­chan­i­cal) with a first class hon­ors. He also holds a Doc­tor of Phi­los­o­phy in Me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

Other po­si­tions he has oc­cu­pied in NNPC in­clude: Group Gen­eral Man­ager of Green­field Re­fin­ery Projects, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Hyson, and Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of Nige­rian Gas Com­pany (NGC) and Gen­eral Man­ager Gas Di­vi­sion of the Na­tional Petroleum In­vest­ment Management Ser­vices (NAPIMS).

Oth­ers were: Man­ager Oper­a­tions, Pro­cure­ment Management Ser­vices and Man­ager En­gi­neer­ing for Na­tional En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­ni­cal Com­pany Lim­ited (NETCO), an NNPC arm.

Dur­ing his ini­tial stint with NAPIMS which spanned from July 1993 to July 1999, Baru ex­e­cuted sev­eral gas projects which are uti­liz­ing bil­lions of stan­dard cu­bic feet of gas per day.

Sev­eral other on­go­ing projects were also con­cep­tu­al­ized un­der his care.

He was said to have planned the projects that would en­sure flare-out by 2008 and made huge sav­ings while over­see­ing the Joint Ven­ture Gas Projects.

He was also the NNPC’s Chief Tech­ni­cal Ne­go­tia­tor on the West African Gas Pipe­line project from July 1999 to April 2004.

Dr. Baru is a fel­low of the Nige­rian So­ci­ety of En­gi­neers (FNSE) and a re­cip­i­ent of the Pres­i­den­tial Merit Award of the Nige­rian So­ci­ety of Chemical En­gi­neers. He is mar­ried with chil­dren.

A pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment

Com­ment­ing on the ap­point­ment, the Direc­tor, Cen­tre for Petroleum En­ergy Eco­nomics and Law, Univer­sity of Ibadan, Prof. Ade­ola Adenikinju said re­liev­ing Kachikwu of the role as NNPC GMD is a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment for the sake of ef­fi­ciency and good gov­er­nance.

“The min­is­ter is for over­all pol­icy, he is not just for the NNPC and he is to look at the petroleum sec­tor as a whole whereas the GMD has a com­pany that he has to man­age,” Adenikinju said.

New NNPC GMD Dr Maikanti Baru

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