By Michael Eboh
Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, has stated that funding remained a major constraint to the corporation.
In a statement by the NNPC in Abuja, yesterday, Baru also disclosed that that the NNPC was faced with many distractions aimed at derailing it from its goals and objectives.
Baru, who was awarded the 2017 Zik Prize for Professional Leadership by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre, (PPRAC), however, noted that the NNPC remain focused and committed.
According to him, the management shall not allow itself to be derailed in its quest to emplace the corporation on the path of growth and productivity.
While describing funding as the major constraint of the corporation, Baru also observed that over the last few months, NNPC had devised many means of funding its projects, with several of them yielding positive results.
Speaking on the award, Baru said the honour signified some recognition of the modest efforts his management team is making to spearhead the corporation to greater heights.
“This great award also means we should sustain what we are doing, which is hinged on transforming NNPC into a fully integrated energy company for the benefit of Nigerians and other stakeholders,” he said.
Baru, who vowed to continue with the good work towards realization of the lofty dreams of the corporation’s founding fathers, observed, however, that the corporation was not shying away from the fact that there are challenges and many more grounds to be covered.
Organised by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre, (PPRAC), the Zik Prize was instituted 24 years ago in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, to, among others, encourage and nurture leadership on the African Continent and in the Diaspora.
Also speaking, former Minister of Education and Chairman of Advisory Board of PPRAC, Professor Jubril Aminu, praised the winners of the Zik Prize, stressing that it signifies that for the current leaders to excel, they must learn from past Nigerian legendary leaders such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
While presenting the GMD with the Zik Prize, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, said they were celebrating Dr. Baru not only for his accomplishments, but for the good work he is doing in the NNPC and by extension, the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Baru was also conferred with a Distinguished Service Award by the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Alumni Association.
Baru was honoured with the award alongside other eminent alumni such as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the Governors of Nassarawa and Kebbi States, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura and Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, at the ABU Alumni Association’s 2018 Public Lecture and Award Dinner in Abuja.
Speaking while receiving the award, Baru said the NNPC would continually explore the symbiotic relationship between it and the Ivory Tower, stating that such mutual relations would lead to proffering solutions to some of the societal challenges.
He described the award as unique among the numerous others he had received during his career in public service because of the special place ABU occupies in his heart, while he dedicated the award to the Management and Staff of NNPC.