Breaking News

Jonathan appoints Chief of Staff, sacks NNPC boss

…. Orders Probe of NNPC Account

By Daniel Idonor

ABUJA – PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has  announced the appointment of the Principal Secretary to the Vice President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe as Chief of Staff, COS to the President, thereby returning to the status quo ante, where the office of the COS had existed until late President Umaru Yar’Adua abolished it

And barely less than a month after his appointment as the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the President  Monday ordered the immediate sack of Alhaji Shehu Ladan.

*Shehu Ladan

According to a statement by the new special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Ima Niboro, Jonathan has approved the appointment of the Group Executive Director (GED), Refineries and Petrochemicals, of NNPC, Mr Austin Oniwon, as the new GMD.

The new GMD of the NNPC, the statement said, hails from Okene in Kogi State.

“Mr. Austin Oniwon has been appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.  Oniwon who hails from Okene in  Kogi State, was until his appointment,  the Group Executive Director, Refineries and Petrochemicals, of NNPC”, the statement said.

Also, following petitions of large-scale malfeasance against the outgoing and other past GMDs, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered that a world class audit firm be engaged to carry out a full scale investigation into the accounts of the state owned NNPC, essentially in the recent past.

Besides, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe who is now the new Chief of Staff to the President, the statement added that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Energy Matters, Mallam Hassan Tukur has also been appointed as the Principal Secretary to the President.  He takes over from the former Principal Secretary to President, Mr David Edevbie.

Also appointed is Mr. Ima Niboro as a substantive Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President. He has since taken over from the former Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi.

“The President has also directed a comprehensive audit of NNPC accounts. The Finance minister is to engage the services of a world class auditing firm to carry out the audit”, it stressed.

The President, according the statement “thanked the outgoing Principal Secretary to the President, David Edevbie, and outgoing GMD, NNPC, Shehu Ladan, for their services and wished them well in their future endeavours”.

Why Ladan was Sacked

Investigation by Vanguard revealed that the sack of Shehu Ladan who was appointed NNPC’s GMD barely a month ago  may have been informed by reports on him that he does not believe in the vision of President Jonathan to reform the ailing NNPC.

It was learnt that while it is the vision of President Jonathan to carry out a comprehensive reform of the state-own oil and gas trading company to enable it compete favourably with similar entities across the globe such as the Petro-Brass among others, the outgoing GMD think differently.

It was further gathered that rather than focus on the mandate of improving productivity in his new office, on assumption of office, the sacked NNPC boss was said to have engaged in “business-as-usual”, a practice that was a common feature of his predecessors.


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