In continuation of the on–going restructuring exercise in the oil and gas sector, President Mohammed Buhari has approved the appointment of four new Group Executive Directors in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the sack of 38 top management members of staff of the corporation.
The new Group Managing Director, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed that the new appointments are 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, added that the right-sizing exercise would trickle down to the lowest cadre of the agency.
The new appointees include: Dr. Maikanti Baru, Group Executive Director, Exploration & Production; Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq, Group Executive Director, Finance & Services; Engr. Dennis Nnamdi Ajulu, Group Executive Director, Refining & Technology; and Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran, Group Executive Director, Commercial & Investment.
A new Company Secretary/Legal Adviser and Managing Directors have also been appointed for the Strategic Business Units. They are: Chidi Momah, Group General Manager, Company Secratarty & Legal Adviser; Mrs. Esther Nnamdi Ogbue, Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC); Engr. Chinedu Ezeribe, Managing Director, Warri Refinning & Petrochemicals Company (WRPC); Mr. Babatunde Bakare, Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC); Mr. Inuwa Ibrahim Waya, Managing Director, Hyson; Mr. Abubakar Mai-Bornu, Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC); and Mr. Ladipo Fagbola, Managing Director, NNPC Retail.
Others are: Mr. Rowland Ewubare, Managing Director, Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL); 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 (NAPIMS).
The corporation also retired 38 top management staff reducing the number from 122 to 83,while
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.
Justifying the purges as part of activities aimed at restructuring the company for better performance and accountability, Dr. Kachikwu said the restructuring would affect all levels of the corporation with the new group executive directors and group managing directors taking the exercise to the lower cadres.
Kachikwu spoke with the media on Thursday shortly after meeting President Mohammed Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Things have been done wrongly and things need to be done differently. We are doing a lot of work in terms of repositioning, restructuring, getting the right personnel in key places and setting a culture of accountability and service delivery so that the new NNPC that you are going to see will be a different institution altogether,” he said.
When asked specifically how far the restructuring could go, the NNPC boss said it would be a complete exercise.
Kachikwu also said after the personnel aspect must have been done with, he would order for a proper forensic audit covering 2014 and 2015.
The exercise, he added, would show the true state of the company.
He expressed the conviction that the whole process would lead to a new look NNPC within five to six months.
He said, “The restructuring will be complete. I have done the first three layers, from the GEDs to the GGMs and general managers. You are going to have a lot more now. The GEDs and the GGMs will take it to the next layer, which is the lower layer.
“The whole idea is to go back to being able to look at your appraisals; and how well have you done in the job? If you have done very well, how do we elevate you to a position where you can offer more service? If you have not done well enough, we can retrain you and if you have not done well enough and there is no possibility of retraining you, we will let you go.
“The NNPC is not a public service. It is a corporation and we run like a company generating money for the people of Nigeria. And so, that whole concept of ‘anything goes’ should stop. And this is the first stage of that whole process.”
Kachikwu said he was pursuing what he called a three-pronged process in the restructuring of the corporation.
He said, “It is three-pronged process that I am pursuing. There is a people aspect, which we are dealing with now. There is a process aspect. And after placing the people at the right places, you are going to get a forensic audit done, that will be able to say to you, ‘this is the state of the company.’
“We are going to put processes and control in place. We are going to do retraining and repositioning and then, we are going to re-engage our majors and minors, all those who are active in the sector, for us to work as a team to take Nigeria forward. It is going to be the process stage.
“The final stage will be the business stage, which will be looking at all the existing contracts. Are they good? Are they okay? Do they need to be re-kitted and redone?
“We will look at the PSCs. What should we do, going forward? We will look at the challenges posed by reduced balance sheet as a result of $40 or $50 per barrel oil. What do we do to energise recovery and income growth so that government will have money to work with?
“It is a very intensive work; very calibrated work. A lot of us are not spending time sleeping but over the next five to six months, you will begin to see a new NNPC. A new process of oil administration in the country and obviously, giving fillip to Mr. President’s dream of taking the oil industry back to where it should be.”
When asked about his position on the President’s directive on the Treasury Single Account, Kachikwu said the directive was being considered.
He said he was looking at how to merge accountability with the need to ensure the survival of the industry.
“The reality is that to run an oil company, you’ve got to have funds. If you don’t, you will close down the corporation and the production system will close down. So, we are looking at how to merge the need for accountability and openness with the need to make sure that the industry itself survives. We cannot throw away the baby with the bathwater,” he said.n