A Niger Delta group under the aegies the Niger Delta Coalition (NDC), has demanded the sacking of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, over what they called “gross misconduct and high handedness.
Other allegations the group levelled against Kyari included financial impropriety, misuse of authority, lack of vision, poor performance, and autocratic conduct, among others.
The NDC, a coalition of over 26 youth associations across the Niger Delta region, which held a peaceful protest march in Warri, Delta State on Wednesday, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately remove Kyari to save the country’s oil industry.
The protesters in their numbers, barricaded the entrance of the NNPC building to register their grievances, accompanied by chants of solidarity songs, displaying placards with inscriptions such as ‘Protect our Nation, President Tinubu sacks Mele Kyari’ among others.
While addressing journalists during the protest, the National Coordinator of the Niger Delta Youth Alliance, Oris Bakpa, who spoke on behalf of the NDC, urged President Tinubu to take immediate action by removing Kyari from office and institute a comprehensive inquiry into his conduct while in office.
“Nigeria is blessed with abundant oil resources. However, a glaring deficiency within the NNPCL is the presence of dormant refineries scattered across the country,” Bakpa said.
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“Regrettably, despite the staggering allocation of N100 billion for refinery rehabilitation in 2022, these facilities, with a combined production capacity of 445,000 bpd, have failed to produce any refined products for the past several years.
“The inability of the NNPCL to operate the moribund refineries has forced the nation to rely on the mindless importation of petroleum products, with the attendant consequences for the economy.
“The ripple effects of the over-reliance on the oil industry were visible in the nation’s inflation rates, has reached a staggering 25.80 per cent in August 2023.
“The implications of such high inflation figures are far-reaching, encompassing elevated costs of living, a discouraging business environment, and palpable instability in the nation’s overall economic well-being.
“Furthermore, the alleged irregularities in the awarding of oil production contracts have cast a shadow of opacity over remittance to the Federation Account, giving rise to grave concerns about transparency and accountability in these financial transactions.
“As a collective of concerned and dedicated Niger Delta people, we vow to uphold the law and employ peaceful demonstrations as a means to urge President Tinubu to remove Kyari from his position.
“The President should launch an investigation into the leadership and management of the NNPCL with a view to addressing the urgent issues of refinery rehabilitation,” he said.