The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. has denied speculations that it plans to move its headquarters in Abuja to Lagos.
Mr Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) NNPC, made the denial at the resumed investigative hearing of the ad hoc committee on the acquisition of OVH Energy by NNPCL on Friday.
Kyari said that contrary to the petition by petitioners, the company had no plan of moving its headquarters to Lagos, adding that this was in spite of its present status of a private company, registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
He said the insinuation might not be unconnected with the fact that 70 per cent of its operations were in Lagos, adding that moving the headquarters would incur additional cost on the company.
He said the NNPC Ltd. had merged its operations and moved the right people where they were required to function.
According to him, the registered headquarters of NNPC Ltd. is in Abuja, the mere fact that the GCEO sit with the operations staff does not mean it had moved to Lagos.
According to him, those making the allegation were doing so because they don’t want to move; this is the challenge of merger and acquisition all over the world. We have given them option to resign.
“The company cannot keep them where they are not needed; this is what the petitions are all about.”
He noted that in every merger and acquisition, the dominant culture must be allowed to take over such as service, adding that this was exactly what the NNPC Ltd was doing.
“Merger and acquisition comes with challenges but we are minimising the impact, we have to make the business happen.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that it has no negative impact and we will ensure it creates value,” he said.
Speaking on the need to retain expatriates, he said there was no national oil company of limited liability that does not have expatriates, adding that it took him many days of engagement to make the expatriates stay.
“We don’t have the capability and there is no way we can progress without having inclusion of people that can create values,” he said.
Kyari said that the NNPC Ltd. needed to be the national oil company that people could deal with, adding that international partners always looked at inclusion and the NNPC must get expatriates to live and work with it.
He, however, said that Nigerians must learn to thank him for a job well done, saying, “I must say that this country should thank me, and I say that without reservation.
According to him, “in the first quarters of 2023, we made N18.4 billion profit and before we acquired OVH, we couldn’t make it”.
He added that before now, the NNPC Ltd. struggled to control 15 per cent of OVH, disclosing that now they were now in control of 30 per cent.
Hassan Na’laraba, the Chairman of the committee, commended the GCEO for the clarification, adding that they were issues based to wade off corruption.
He said the GCOE could be re-invited for further clarifications because the committee still had a week to submit its report, adding that there was need to have an interface with him in the course of oversight.