In a compelling address at the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja, Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), underscored the pivotal role of energy security in fostering wealth creation across Nigeria.

During his presentation on Tuesday, the GCEO articulated that no endeavor aimed at public wealth creation could attain substantive success without ensuring a robust framework for energy security. Drawing attention to the symbiotic relationship between energy and various economic sectors, Kyari emphasized that agriculture, among others, heavily relies on energy resources for sustenance and growth.

Kyari elucidated, “If you don’t have energy, you don’t have agriculture. You can do all the agriculture but you can’t take it to the market, you may not be able to preserve it, you can’t even export it. So, all those indices are clearly connected to the ability to create energy.”

The NNPC chief highlighted Nigeria’s substantial energy deficit, with staggering statistics revealing that approximately 70% of the population lacks access to clean cooking fuel, while over 50% live without electricity. He identified key barriers impeding the nation’s quest for energy security, including inadequate investment in the energy sector, exacerbated by uncertainties in the business environment and burdensome taxation policies.

Kyari lamented the disproportionate flow of investment into Nigeria’s energy sector compared to other regions in Africa, citing that in the past decade, less than 3% of total investment inflow to the continent found its way to Nigeria. Despite these challenges, Kyari assured stakeholders that NNPC Ltd remains committed to bridging the energy deficit gap and laying the groundwork for sustainable wealth creation.

Highlighting NNPC Ltd’s remarkable growth trajectory, Kyari underscored the company’s transformation from a loss position of N803 billion in 2018 to a significant profit of N2.5 trillion in 2022. He hailed this progress as a testament to NNPC’s potential to spearhead the nation’s wealth creation efforts.

Kyari concluded by reaffirming NNPC Ltd’s status as the foremost tax-paying corporate entity in Nigeria, demonstrating the company’s unwavering commitment to national development amidst myriad challenges.

In his closing remarks, Kyari urged concerted efforts from stakeholders across government, private sector, and civil society to prioritize energy security as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s economic prosperity and sustainable development agenda.

The address by Mr. Mele Kyari serves as a clarion call for renewed focus and collective action towards achieving energy security and fostering inclusive wealth creation across Nigeria’s diverse socioeconomic landscape.