The long awaited cleansing of the Augean stables of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) kicked off this week with the appointment of a new helmsman for the troubled agency.
The appointment of Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, oil industry corporate player and Havard-trained lawyer, many believe will help drive anticipated Change Team that would midwife the new government’s vision of clearing the rot in the state-owned oil company.
Alongside Kachikwu, the president also approved the appointment of Professor Umaru Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Prof. Danbatta, who holds a Doctorate Degree in Electronic Engineering, takes over from Dr. Eugene Juwah whose tenure expired on July 29, 2015.
While Nigerians are still talking about the appointment of Kachikwu, the federal government announced the sacking of all the eight executive directors of the corporation. This is coming at a time when the President said recently in Washington that the behemoth would be unbundled into two successor entities– regulator and investment vehicle.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday night in Abuja.
Alegbe said in the statement, “The Federal Government has approved the retirement of all eight group executive directors of the NNPC with immediate effect.
“The affected group executive directors are Mr. Bernard Otti, GED, Finance and Accounts; Dr. Timothy Okon, acting GED, Exploration and Production, who also doubled as the Coordinator, Corporate Planning & Strategy; Mr. Adebayo Ibirogba, Engineering and Technology; Dr. David Ige, Gas and Power; Ms. Aisha Abdurrahman, Commercial and Investment; Dr. Dan Efebo, Corporate Services; Mr. Ian Udoh, Refining & Petrochemicals; and Dr. Attahiru Yusuf, Business Development.”
The appointments and sacking of the Executive Directors have been hailed by a cross section of Nigerians who described the development as a major step in the fight against corruption.
According to Ibiyinka Babarinde, a legal practitioner, “Nigerians have not seen anything yet, removal of GED’s in NNPC is just the beginning, Nigerian Maritime Authority, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Customs, FAAN and NCAA, Federal civil service, National Housing Authority, Nigerian Television Authority, and indeed all federal government parastatals should not sleep. They should all wake up and get ready for the wind of change that is set to sweep each and everyone off their feet”.
Also speaking, a public affairs analyst, Felix Adamson said “For me Buhari is doing his own part in bringing his experience in reducing corruption. He pleaded with us to understand and bear with him for three tough months to make the environment a better place to manage. Buhari is already preparing a conducive take off ground for the incoming ministers”.
According to Martin Aderiye, another public affairs analyst, Buhari could even appoint an expatriate as long as the person has the capacity to deliver.
“As long as the competent and non corrupt people are there, Nigerians will be happy. He should even employ expatriates as long as the country will move forward. Enough of this ethnic and tribal thing that has taken us no where” he said.