… As Sylva Inaugurates ‘Operation White’ to Guarantee Energy Security

The Federal Government has inaugurated a team of 89 persons drawn from five key agencies to ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Speaking  at  a   brief   ceremony   held   at   the   NNPC  Towers  on  Thursday   in   Abuja   to   launch   the initiative code-named ‘Operation White’, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said the team would help to authenticate the actual volume of products imported and consumed in the country and ensure that the nation attains energy security.

Sylva,   who   earlier   visited   the   team’s   Command   and   Control   Centre   at   the   NNPC Towers observed that the initiative was long overdue for the country, even as he charged members of the team to carry out the assignment with commitment, zeal and patriotism.

The Minister   stated  that  he  was  optimistic   that  the   operation   would  stem   the   smuggling   of petroleum products by some unscrupulous operators, stressing that the savings from the exercise would go a long way in supporting infrastructural development of the country.

He recalled that few weeks after the closure of the nation’s land borders, daily Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) consumption had dropped from 60million litres per day to 52million litres per day.

 “I must say that I am very impressed with the calibre of the team members of ‘Operation White’ and I am not surprised because every organisation that I know is as strong as its leadership. The NNPC under the leadership of Mallam Mele Kyari epitomizes strong leadership. 

 “I am happy with the enthusiasm on the faces of the members and I am sure that we will succeed,” the Minister enthused. On his part, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Kyari charged the team to deliver on the onerous national assignment of controlling leakages of petroleum products, especially PMS, adding that they have no option but to succeed.

He said that ‘Operation White’ would monitor and track every molecule of petroleum products imported into the country and follow it through to the pump, adding that the NNPC was poised to support the Federal Government in its quest to guaranteeing energy security for the country.

Mallam Kyari averred that NNPC under his leadership would continue to be  transparent by ensuring that the entire operations of the Oil and Gas Industry remain visible to all Nigerians and all   operators in   line   with   his   management’s   vision   of   Transparency,   Accountability   and Performance Excellence (TAPE).

“The selection of ‘Operation White’ team was very thorough and people of great competence and high level of integrity were head-hunted for this national assignment. Today, we are good to go and we will see our transaction end-to-end as is the case in other countries. 

“We are poised to support the Minister to ensure that energy security is guaranteed for our dear country so that our principal, President Muhammadu Buhari would be proud of us,” Mallam Kyari added.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and the team lead for ‘Operation White,’ Mr Bala Wunti said adequate institutional and governance structure of the team’s operations has been put in place. Wunti observed further that with the support so far given by the Minister and the GMD NNPC coupled with the commitment and passion of members, the ‘Operation White” team is perfectly poised to deliver on its mandate. 

Members of the team were drawn from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department   of  Petroleum  Resources   (DPR),   Petroleum   Products Pricing  Regulatory  Agency(PPPRA),   Petroleum   Equalization   Fund   (PEF)   as   well   as the   Department   of  State   Security (DSS)

Chibisi Ohakah

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