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Ex-NNPC Group MD, Maikanti Baru, Died Of COVID-19 — Family Source

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The immediate past Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, died of COVID-19 on Friday, a source close to the late Baru family, confirmed to The Whistler.

“The result of the COVID-19 test he did two weeks ago was negative while he tested positive for Coronavirus on Friday, shortly before his death ,” the source said.

The source also confirmed that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control was involved in his burial on Saturday.

Baru had returned to Nigeria from Mecca in February, 2020, after a medical trip and had made several trips to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment before his death.

Sources close to him said he had been sick for a long time and had undergone a hip operation sometime while he was the Group Managing Director of the NNPC.

Baru was the 18th GMD of NNPC serving in the position from July 2016 to July 2019, retiring statutorily from office at the age of 60.

The deceased was an indigene of Misau, in Misau Local Government of Bauchi State.

Between 1988 and 1991, Baru held various positions at the Jos Steel Rolling Company Ltd. including Head, Corporate Planning and Electrical Departments while also serving in several Committees in the Company.

He started his NNPC career as the Engineering Manager National Engineering and Technical Company Limited (NETCO) from May to November 1991. He became the Manager, Operations of Procurement Management Services (PROMAS) from 1991 to 1993 where he saved the Corporation over $70 million in six months of operation.

Thereafter, he served in the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) as the Manager Gas Department for four years and in 1997, he was appointed General Manager, Gas Development Division and during his stewardship of the Joint Venture Gas Projects, the Division saved over $575 million through project costs optimisation.

In July 1999, he was appointed as the Executive Director, Operations of the Nigerian Gas Company, Warri where he was responsible for the smooth operation of all the facilities in the Nigerian Gas Company including uninterrupted gas supply to customers such as NEPA.

Baru also contributed in the development of strategies for the deregulation of the Downstream Sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. Following his good work there, he was appointed in September 2007, as the Group General Manager of the National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS) where he effectively supervised the Nation’s investment in the upstream of the Nigeria’s oil industry.

As the GMD NNPC, Dr. Baru won several awards which include the 2016 Honourary Award of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) to commemorate his conferment as Honorary Member of NAPE; the 2016 Achievement Award of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Council for his Outstanding Contributions to SPE Nigeria as well as the 2017 Award of Excellence of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in recognition of his Resourcefulness and Responsiveness to Labour and Industrial Relations Issues in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry. He was also crowned as the Local Content Champion in 2016 by Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria.

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