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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has urged the new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, to urgently address fuel subsidy challenge.

The association in a congratulatory message signed by its General Secretary, Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, also urged Kyari to address the challenge of obsolete refinaries.

He described Kyari’s appointment as well-deserved and recognition of his 27 years of exemplary service in the NNPC group.

According to him, the nation’s growing economy, which is majorly dependent on the oil and gas industry, needs a vibrant leader that will address the issues.

Okugbawa expressed optimism that Kyari as a typical crude oil marketer with prerequisite certification and outfield pedigree in petroleum economics, crude oil and gas trading would reposition the sector.

“However, the challenges associated with pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, inadequate infrastructure, pricing uncertainties, and the obsolete refineries must be addressed. The contentious fuel subsidy issues and resting of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) are issues the Nigerian masses expect the new NNPC Board to champion,’’ he said.

Okugbawa said that having followed Kyari’s career progression, he was optimistic that his appointment would further help in the development of the oil and gas industry and the nation’s economy.

He commended the outgoing GMD, Dr Maikanti Baru, for his contributions to the growth of the industry.

Okugbawa said that history would remember him for his good works in bringing stability in industrial relations management and free flow of refined products.

Newsmen report that PENGASSAN had highlighted need for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill before the end of the present administration, noting that the bill had suffered delays over the years.

“This bill, which started as the Oil and Gas Sector Reform Implementation Committee Report, and has been on for 19 years since April 2000, has gone through various stages with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill at the forefront now.

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