President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sacked the heads of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and appointed new ones.
He appointed Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC to replace Dr Joseph Thlama Dawha who was one year on the job yesterday.
Buhari also appointed Professor Umaru Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive NCC. The commission is statutorily chaired by Nigeria’s Vice President.
Professor Danbatta takes over from Dr. Eugene Juwah whose tenure expired last Tuesday even though it was renewed several months ago in controversial manner by former President Good luck Jonathan.
The two key appointments were announced in a statement by Buhari’s spokesman Mr Femi Adesina.
The appointment of a new NNPC boss came at a time when the corporation is under investigation over stolen oil monies running into trillions of naira.
President Buhari himself announced, while addressing the Nigerian community in the US, that about $150 billion oil money had been stolen and that he was working with the international community to recover such money.
Oil industry sources told Daily Trust yesterday that the appointment of Dr. Kachikwu a rank outsider, was intended to breathe untainted air and restore sanity in a system that has largely been criticised for alleged brazen corruption.
Kachikwu was the Executive Vice Chairman and General Counsel of Exxon-Mobil (Africa).
The new NNPC Chief Executive hails from Onicha-Ugbo in Delta State. He is a First Class graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He also attended the Nigerian Law School.
Kachikwu who holds Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Law from the Harvard University, United State, started his working career with the Nigerian/American Merchant Bank, and then moved to Texaco Nigeria Limited where he remained for about eight years before joining ExxonMobil.
The new GMD assumed duty yesterday. Speaking at a brief handover ceremony at the NNPC Towers, Abuja he praised his predecessor, Dr. Joseph T. Dawha for his hard work and pledged to work towards achieving the president’s growth aspiration for the oil and gas industry.
Adesina said Danbatta’s appointment as Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC was for five years and renewable for another term.
Professor Danbatta holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications as well as a Master’s degree in the same field and a Doctorate degree in Electronic Engineering.
He rose to become a professor of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at Bayero University, Kano, specializing in Telecommunications Engineering and Information and Communications Technology.
“Before his new appointment, Prof. Danbatta held top management and leadership positions at different times including Head of Department, Dean Of Faculty, Director, Centre for Information Technology, Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (Kano Branch), Deputy Vice Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor,” Adesina said.
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.