By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba – Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday expressed grief over the death of Dr Maikanti Baru,the immediate past Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Olise Ifeajika, described the late Baru as a renowned engineer, who brought his wealth of experience to bear all through the years he served at the NNPC.
“As an astute petroleum engineer, Baru was a man of great wisdom and insight, who contributed immensely to the economic development of our country throughout his service at the NNPC.
“While serving as GMD he maintained oil production levels above two million barrels per day and increased crude oil production by NNPC flagship Upstream Company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
“He was also instrumental to the boosting of gas production which made NNPC the largest supplier of gas to power, and saving enormous financial resources through Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme adopted for products import.
“The NNPC under his watch reduced cost of crude oil production per barrel in the country from 27 dollars to 22 dollars and sustained petroleum products supply nationwide, thereby eliminating fuel scarcity in the country,” he said.
According to him, Baru will be sorely missed, especially for his outstanding accomplishments and innovations at the NNPC.
Okowa, who said the the news of Baru’s death came to him as a shock, expressed his condolences to the Baru’s family, Jama’are community, and Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I mourn the exit of a great statesman, Dr Maikanti Baru, who contributed immensely to the economic development of Nigeria when he held sway at the NNPC,” he said.
Baru, who hailed from Jama’are in Bauchi State, died on Friday, May 29, after a brief illness.
He was appointed the 18th NNPC’s Group Managing Director on July 4th, 2016 and retired on July 7, 2019, at the age of 60.