The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC Ltd), Mr Mele Kyari, has said that he is receiving death threats as a result of the ongoing reformation in the NNPC.
Kyari made this know on Wednesday in Abuja at the Legislative Transparency and Accountability summit organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption.
The summit is titled, ‘Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in the Oil and Gas Sector: Challenges and Prospects.’
Kyari said that as a result of the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), a lot of changes are ongoing that is affecting the old order.
He said the company had taken down several illegal oil refineries affecting the volume of oil production in the country.
The GMD said that as a result of the activities and effect of the illegal refineries, daily crude oil production had reduced by 700,000 barrels.
“Without mincing words, I want to say that this industry is in a threshold of change, there is massive change going on and it is very expensive and of personal cost to many people including myself.
“There is a threat to life, I can say this, I have several death threats but we are not bothered about this, we believe that no one dies unless it is his time.
“But this is the cost of change, when people move away from what they are used to something new that will take away value and benefit from them, they will react.
“That reaction is benefits to all of us and we will work together to make sure it works out,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that over six decades, the oil and gas industry has played a critical role in the economy of Nigeria.
He said that the industry has provided millions of jobs, directly and indirectly, adding that income from the oil and gas sector has funded the administration of government to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars over the years.
According to him, “we are living in a world made possible by income from oil and gas and the fossil fuel industry.”
He, however, said that the world is changing towards a future where the economic value of oil and gas is far diminished from what it used to be.
“Amid this evolving paradigm, the oil and gas industry still faces unique challenges here at home. Due to theft and various acts of economic sabotage, we are experiencing a massive decline in crude oil production and export volume.
“Our country is the victim of bad actors determined to achieve great personal wealth at our collective expense.
“At a time of severe financial constraints, the perpetrators of this brazen heist threaten our ability to meet the demands of governance and nation-building.
“Their actions effectively amount to treason against our country, for which they must be held accountable,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Anti-Corruption, Rep. Shehu Garba, said that the oil and gas sector accounts for 80 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange income.
He said that it also accounts for 50 per cent of the nation’s total revenue, saying that anything that affects the sector, affects the nation.
The lawmaker said that the PIA is a watershed as it would address a lot of the challenges limiting the sector’s ultimate performance.
He said that the committee resolved to organise the summit to keep the conversation on transparency going and to make Nigerians understand what the new legislation brings.
Garba said that the summit also provides a platform for stakeholders engagement and to share opportunities therein.