#Nigeria: After Buhari fired MDs of NNPC subsidiaries…

NNPC Tower; Photo credits: ookaboo.com
NNPC Tower; Photo credits: ookaboo.com

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday evening fired the managing directors of the subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and retired 38 top management staff of the firm, trimming down their number from 122 to 83.

The President also approved four new directorates for the national oil corporation and appointed four directors to man them.

Buhari further allowed the firm to recruit 12 private sector players into its management cadre to help it jump-start a new business outlook to enhance its operational environment as a profit-driven business and wean the firm from its present civil service orientation.

The four new directorates are Exploration and Production, Finance and Services, Refining and Technology, and Commercial and Investment.

As the restructuring at the corporation went on, our correspondent observed that a good number of staff members of the oil firm stayed back on Tuesday evening, even after closing for the day’s job.

Many of them were spotted discussing in hushed tones, while a few visibly tensed workers made it clear that there was fear of job losses in the air at the NNPC, going by the downsizing of the executive positions from eight to four and the trimming of top management staff from 122 to 83.

Saturday PUNCH had reported exclusively that the approval of directorates and managers to occupy the positions were delayed by the President.

This, however, was confirmed by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

The corporation, in the statement, said, “The management of the NNPC has appointed four new group executive directors to man the four new directorates that have been approved by the Presidency.”

The new Group Managing Director, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, disclosed that the new appointments were in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration to transform the corporation into a lean, efficient, business-focused, transparent and accountable national oil company in keeping with international best practices.

The appointments which were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari include Dr. Maikanti Baru, Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production; Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq, Group Executive Director, Finance and Services; Mr. Dennis Nnamdi Ajulu, Group Executive Director, Refining and Technology and Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran, Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment.

The statement noted that a new company secretary/legal adviser and managing directors were also appointed for the firm’s strategic business units.

It said they include “Chidi Momah, Group General Manager, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser; Mrs. Esther Nnamdi Ogbue, Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company; Mr. Chinedu Ezeribe, Managing Director, Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company; Mr. Babatunde Bakare, Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company; Mr. Inuwa Ibrahim Waya, Managing Director, Hyson; Mr. Abubakar Mai-Bornu, Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company; and Mr. Ladipo Fagbola, Managing Director, NNPC Retail.

Others are “Mr. Rowland Ewubare, Managing Director, Integrated Data Services Limited; Mr. Modupe Bammeke, Managing Director, NNPC Properties; Mr. Abdulkadir Saidu, Managing Director, Duke Oil; and Mr. Dafe Sejebor, Group General Manager, Nigerian Petroleum Investment Management Services.

The statement added that “the corporation also retired 38 top management staff reducing the number from 122 to 83. Also in line with the aspiration to reposition the corporation, 12 personnel have been recruited from the private sector into the top management cadre to jump-start a new business outlook to enhance the operational environment as a profit-driven business as against the current civil service orientation.”

The restructuring at the NNPC started last week Tuesday after Buhari fired the former GMD, Dr. Joseph Dawha, and replaced him with Kachikwu.

A day later, the President sacked the firm’s eight group executive directors but announced no replacement, although our correspondent reported that the eight departments were trimmed to four.

The restructuring continued on Friday as Kachikwu redeployed the Group General Manager, Crude Oil and Marketing Division, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, and replaced him with Mr. Musa Usman, who was to serve in acting capacity.

About two weeks ago, President Buhari declared a strong stance to fix Nigeria’s oil sector, rid the industry of rot and probe monies stolen by operators in the sector.

The President had in late June dissolved the NNPC board.

The Federal Government, through the NNPC, regulates and participates in the country’s petroleum industry.

An Act to dissolve the former Nigerian National Oil Corporation and to establish the NNPC was promulgated in 1977.

The NNPC was established on April 1, 1977, as a merger of the Nigerian National Oil Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel.