.2023: It's non-negotiable, southerner must succeed Buhari — PANDEF 

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South -South

PAN Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the apex body of leaders of coastal states of the Niger Delta, yesterday, accused the Federal Government of taking the hosts of oil and gas-bearing communities of Niger Delta and Nigerians for granted with its newly unveiled Nigeria National Corporation, NNPC, Limited.

National Publicity Secretary of the regional group, Ken Robinson, told Vanguard: “It will not be reckless to conclude that they are taking Nigerians, particularly the people of the oil and gas producing host communities for granted.

 “The new NNPC Limited may be something to celebrate by the Federal Government and its proxies, but for the people of Niger Delta, and the South-South geopolitical zone, in particular, it is the same old NNPC and a continuation of the callous injustice against the people.

“It is merely an old wine in a decorated old bottle.  And the event of July 19, 2022, the unveiling of NNPC Ltd, putting it mildly, was an unveiling of hypocrisy.

“Look at the composition of the board and management of the so-called new NNPC Limited, it is the same aged anecdote, lacking in equity and fairness.

“The South-South geopolitical zone, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the nation’s crude oil production and which should be bonafide shareholders has only one member.

“The North-West, which accounts for zero per cent of the nation’s oil production has three members: Umar Ajiya, Chief Financial Officer; Mallam Mohammed Lawal and Hadiza Coomasie, Secretary to the board; North East has two members, Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Tajudeen Umar; South-East has the Chairman of the Board, Senator Margret Okadigbo and Henry Obih.

“North-Central and South-West also have one member each. The question is: what were the criteria used by the president in arriving at this composition?

“How can the new NNPC Limited become a ‘dynamic global energy company of choice to deliver energy for today, for tomorrow, for the day and days after tomorrow’, as stated by the President at the unveiling, when appointments are not made based on conventional standards?

“People are appointed either because they are friends or friends of friends of Mr. President.

“Worse still, the new NNPC Limited has reportedly made expansion of its retail outlets from 547 to over 1,500, within the next six months, one of its key priorities, and is to retail imported petrol, instead of prioritising how to increase local refining of the product to meet domestic needs.

“What a shame. Nigeria is reportedly the only OPEC member country that imports over 90 per cent of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic consumption.

“The new NNPC Limited is supposedly owned by Nigerians but it seems they will continue with the arrogant disposition of doing whatever they like, against the interest and well-being of citizens.”


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