Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.), has emphasised the need for collaboration between academia and the oil and gas industry to address the challenges of energy sufficiency and sustainability.
Kyari made this plea during his role as a guest lecturer at the 2024 Faculty Lecture titled “Energy Security, Sustainability, and Profitability in Nigeria: Advances, Challenges, and Opportunities,” organised by the Faculty of Science at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Wednesday.
In his lecture, Kyari highlighted the crucial role academic communities, particularly esteemed institutions like OAU, play in safeguarding national energy security through research and collaborative efforts with the industry.
Identifying challenges hindering energy security in Nigeria, including rapid population growth, pipeline vandalism, and crude oil theft, Kyari proposed energy conservation, diversification, and efficiency measures as pivotal avenues to enhance energy security.
Addressing the projected rapid population growth, Kyari emphasised the importance of finding sustainable solutions to ensure energy security for the benefit of current and future generations. He underscored the intensified competition for vital resources and the urbanisation drive, predicting a doubling of Nigeria’s energy demand by 2050.
Regarding the challenges posed by pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, Kyari highlighted the impact on NNPC Ltd.’s operations. He noted that the establishment of a command-and-control centre has significantly aided in detecting and destroying illegal refinery sites, as well as removing illegal connections, effectively addressing vandalism across operating corridors since 2021.
Kyari acknowledged the severity of vandalism and oil theft and hinted at a strategic shift, focusing on increased product trucking and storage in underground tankages at NNPC filling stations nationwide.
Highlighting NNPC Ltd.’s transformation into a fully commercial limited liability energy company following the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021, Kyari mentioned that the removal of fuel subsidies has allowed the company to play a more active commercial role, ensuring profitability and delivering greater value to Nigeria’s growing population.