•NACCIMA applauds action
•Says Board ran Nigeria aground
President Muhammadu Buhari, has sacked the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Barr. Danladi Kifasi, announced the sack in a statement issued by his Director of Communications, Alh. Haruna Imrana, in Abuja yesterday.
According to the statement, a letter to that effect was conveyed to members, yesterday. The dissolution of the board was with immediate effect.
The letter quoted President Buhari as thanking members of the dissolved board for their services to the nation.
The NNPC is the state-run oil company which oversees Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. The last Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke was the last Chairman of the board.
The corporation regulates the oil and gas sector, and also operates as a Joint Venture Partnership with International Oil Companies, IOCs , in the nation’s petroleum sector, on behalf of the federal government.
Sacking the NNPC board was expected especially given recent corruption scandals over alleged billions of dollars of unremitted oil revenue. The last was the allegation by former Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, and current Emir of Kano, Mallam Lamido Sanusi created major image problems for the NNPC and remained unresolved, even after an external audit of the corporation’s books.
Mallam Sanusi had initially alleged that NNPC failed to remit $49.8 billion oil revenue into the federation. Later the figure changed to $20 billion; then $10 billion. Former President Goodluck Jonathan administration had to launch an independent audit into the allegations. It was carried out by PriceWaterCoopers and came out with an outstanding $1.48 billion to be paid into the Federation Account.
Last NNPC Board was constituted in 2014. It comprised Mrs. Alison-Madueke, and Group Managing Director, NNPC, Engr., Joseph Dawha.
Other members were: Abdullahi Bukar, Steven Oronsaye, Olusegun Okunnu and Daniel Wadzani.
The Group Executive Director (GED), Finance & Accounts, Bernard Otti; and GED, Corporate Services, Peter Nmadu and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance.
The National Vice President, Oil and Gas, of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Mr. Billy Harry has applauded the dissolution, stating that the Board has ran this country down, and had over the years demonstrated a clear case of incompetence.
Reacting to the dissolution, Harry said, “they have also demonstrated that they were not out to serve Nigeria, therefore, if the Board is been dissolved it is to the advantage and betterment of Nigeria.”
He, however, advised that the new Board that would be reconstituted should comprise of tested and proven Nigerians, that will show love care and growth for the ordinary Nigerian.”
He said, “Let us be careful to ensure that whichever Board comes on board now, will have tested and proven Nigerians, that will show love care and growth for the ordinary Nigerian. Because there is nothing that we do in this country that if the ordinary Nigerians do not benefit will have any meaning. Because for one poor man that we have, we are creating myriads of problems, socio-politically, economically and even spiritually.
“NNPC, today, is the coordinating centre for the economy. That is really what it is, because our economy depends on oil and gas. If the president dissolves the Board, it is a very good thing and it should be done with the mindset to put people on Board who should serve Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians.”
It is a welcome development — Adonri
Also speaking, an economic analyst, Mr. David Adonri, who is the Chief Executive Officer of HighCap Securities, a stockbroking firm said, “It is a welcome development, especially as it is obvious that the new administration will likely dissolve all the boards of parastatals and all. I believe this one is coming at this time because it has become very necessary because of the problems in the energy sector.
“The board should have long been dissolved, especially as it has not made it possible for the country to produce refined products locally, but for the country to rely on importation. The board did not perform well.
“My own thought is that the energy sector should be completely deregulated and sanitised and consequently, NNPC should be disbanded along with all the interest there. Just like we have in the electricity sector, such reforms should be carried out in the oil sector, such that the NNPC should be dissolved and every thing relating to commercial activities by government in the energy sector should be privatised and the industry should be fully deregulated so that what has been done in deregulated industries like the banking industry, the cement industry, electricity and the telecommunication industry could be replicated in the energy industry.”
Other stakeholders celebrate
Also reacting, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Frontier Oil Limited, Mr. Dada Thomas stated that it is in the right direction. According to him, “It is the prerogative of the federal government to appoint or dissolve the board. I assume it is done for the common good.
This may be the start of changes or reorganisations that people are clamouring for
“Though I need to have a holistic picture before I comment in details, I hope it is in the right direction. The just dissolved board had quality people, but it was not allowed to function as expected.
“The new board to be constituted should live above board.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Crusteam Limited, an oil servicing company stated that the dissolution is long overdue.
He said, “It is long overdue. It is expected. The board has provided no value to Nigerians. The board has not lived up to expectations. That is my position.
For Mr. Olisemeka Ojieh, Managing Director, Petrocarbon Limited, it is a welcome development. “I think I welcome the change, so long as it is in the positive direction. Reliable technocrats should be appointed. The new board be made up of professionals who have been in the industry and have track records of integrity. It should not be flooded with politicians,” he added.
According to Presidential spokesman, Mr. Adesina, “The president has said he will clean up the oil sector. That is the beginning of the clean up.
“You can’t possibly have the same board in place while the place is being investigated and with the intention to change the way things are being done there.
“It’s the country’s cash cow. It has a bright future. It’s just that transparency and accountability have to be introduced into how it operates and this is the beginning of that process.”