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Change of Baton: The new GMD, NNPC, Dr. Joseph Thlama Dawha (left) receiving the handover note from his predecessor, Engr. Andrew Laah Yakubu at the NNPC Towers Abuja

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Joseph Thalma Dawha has vouched for sustainability of the ongoing transformation of the Upstream, Midstream and Downstream sectors of the Nigerian Oil & Gas industry in order to impact positively on the Nation’s economy.

This was part of the new GMD’s “article of faith” on his acceptance speech as he takes over from the immediate past GMD, Engr. Andrew Laah Yakubu. It will be recalled that the main policy thrust of the former GMD was the systematic rehabilitation of the corporation’s facilities. That gradual but sustained rehabilitation exercise eventually massed up into a big and impressionable transformation. For instance, most of the pipeline trunks that had been in disuse for many years due to vandalism were gradually rehabilitated. The Escravos- Lagos line, Aba-Port-Harcourt and Ore –Benin-Lagos trunks were rehabilitated as well as the revamping of the refineries to function at full installed capacity.

Having been part of that order, commanding from the lofty height of a Group Executive Director in no less a sector than the Upstream, it comes as no surprise that the present leadership should avow sustainability of the transformation as its main policy thrust. More so, as it is in line with the current federal government’s effort at facility rehabilitation.

In line with this vision, the GMD Dr. J. T. Dawha, within this short period of being in charge, has demonstrated strong courage and capacity towards aggressive pursuit of the transformation agenda.

Recently, the GMD inaugurated a project steering committee in Abuja, charged with the task of fast tracking the Abuja-Kaduna- Kano (AKK) Gas pipeline project.

While addressing the committee during the inauguration, the GMD, Dr, Joseph Dawha described the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) project as a National priority project because it is part of the Federal Government Gas Revolution Agenda. Part of this agenda is to transport gas for Power and Manufacturing industry usage to the key northern axis from Ajaokuta-Kaduna- Kano. “This, he said, is one of the cardinal programmes of the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration…’’ He informed the committee that appreciable progress has been recorded in the execution of the adjoining OB3 gas pipeline project and the looping of the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS). He therefore, urged them to ensure efficient and accelerated actualisation of the AKK project.

The GMD emphasized that “In order to strengthen this critical Government’s National Project and have it refocused for accelerated implementation; there is the compelling need for the establishment of a dedicated AKK Project Steering Team with clear structure”.

GMD, NNPC, Dr. Joseph T. Dawha in a warm handshake with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah
during his courtesy visit at the Army Headquarters in Abuja

The AKK project steering committee comprises of the GMD, Dr. J. T. Dawha as the chairman, the Group Executive Directors of Gas & Power, Exploration and Production, Commercial and Investment as well as the Coordinator, Corporate Planning and Strategy.’’ This Project Steering Committee (PSC) shall be responsible for providing general guidance and direction for the project, grant approval for business models, equity participation budget, contracting strategy and appropriate reporting to the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources as well as endorse strategic investors and recommend as appropriate to government for approval;’’ the GMD explain.

The project also, has a Ten-man support team drawn from various divisions of the Corporation with Mallam Rabiu Bello, General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy as the Team leader. Mallam Bello is to coordinate the activities of the project Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) team and the project support team. The team in its term of reference has the mandate to review all existing contractual, technical, commercial, financial issues relating to the project among other items.

In his effort to sustain the existing cordial relationship between the Corporation and other Government Agencies, the GMD recently paid courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah at the Army headquarters and the Ag. Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba at the Police force headquarters respectively.

These visits afforded him the opportunity to appreciate the Army and the Police force for their unflagging commitment to the provision of security for the National strategic assets particularly as it concerns the Oil & Gas sector. He took time to note the many strategic efforts the outfits have made in protecting
NNPC assets in Port-Harcourt, Benin, Auchi, Warri and in the precarious Chad Basin where one of the corporation’s strategic Business units, Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) is currently engaged in seismic data acquisition activities in spite of the prevailing insecurity around that area. He lauded the role of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in their fight against crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The GMD, Dr. Thlama used the occasion to call for greater collaboration with the Army and the Police force for effective and continuous security of NNPC facilities and by extension National Strategic Assets. “We need to deepen and strengthen the close ties between NNPC and your force for the socio-economic growth and stability of the country” the GMD appealed.

GMD, exchanging pleasantries with the Ag. Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba at the Police Headquarters, Abuja

In their respective responses to the GMD’s appeal, both the Chief of Army staff Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah and Ag. IGP Suliaman Abba agreed that, given the strategic position of NNPC in the Nation’s economy, strategic bonding between NNPC and the armed forces should come naturally.

It will be recalled that before his present appointment as the Group Managing Director (GMD) of
NNPC, Dr. Joseph Thalma Dawha had held various strategic positions in NNPC. Having joined NNPC in 1988, he rose to through the ranks and by a dint of hard work and the grace of God, became the Executive Director, Commercial of the Eleme Petrochemical Company Ltd (EPCL) now Indorama Port-Harcourt in 2003.

From EPCL, he was appointed the Managing Director of Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL) Benin in
2005. A man with the Midas touch, under his watch, IDSL blossomed into a big and profitable company.

Earlier in the 2014, he was appointed the Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production (GED, E&P), a position he held few months before his ascendance to his new position as the GMD of NNPC.
Before joining NNPC, Dr. Dawha had made a foray at some citadels of learning. He was a one-time lecturer at the Borno State College of Science and Technology from 1978-1984 and a Director at the
Borno State College of Basic Studies in 1985. Dr. Dawha holds a Bsc. (1977), Msc. (1985) and a Doctorate degree (1988) in Chemical Engineering.

He hails from Biu in Borno state and at his leisure, he loves to play golf.

Dr. Joseph Thalma Dawha is happily married with children.

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