Incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration will replace the top management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Reuters news agency reported yesterday.
It will also review the accounts of the oil company to restore credibility, Reuters said, quoting sources within Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). It said the new government will submit a bill to break the NNPC into four entities, as already prescribed in the latest PIB draft. One APC source told Reuters that the Bill “will also, crucially, remove the oil minister from the NNPC’s board of directors to curb political interference.”
Others said more generally that the minister’s current powers would be heavily trimmed. Oil and gas will have separate companies for upstream, with a third covering pipelines and refining, while a fourth will be an inspectorate. The proposal could be submitted to parliament in the first quarter of next year, one parliamentary APC source said. The NNPC Management is made up of Group Managing Director Dr. Joseph T. Dawha; Group Executive Director, Finance & Accounts Mr. Bernard O.N. Otti; Group Executive Director, Corporate Services Dr. Dan Efebo, and Member, Alhaji Abdullahi Bukar, who make up the Board.
The Board is chaired by petroleum minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and members are Mr. Danladi Wadzani, Prof. Olusegun Okunnu; Mr. Danladi Kifasi, Mr. Steven Oronsaye, and Mr. Ikechukwu Oguine, Coordinator, Legal Services/Secretary to the Corporation. Reuters said oil firms keen to know how the new government plans to tax them could be waiting for a long time as the President-elect makes ending corruption and reforming the opaque national oil company his most urgent sector priority. Four party sources in the APC told Reuters the issue of fiscal terms, seen as crucial by the industry, will have to wait on current thinking about oil and gas policies in Nigeria.
Crude output has stagnated close to 2 million barrels per day over the past few years, owing partly to underinvestment. “We need to address the structural issues and leave the fiscal for now,” Senator Bukola Saraki, told Reuters. “A more transparent NNPC) is needed with reasonable accounting,” he said. Buhari owes his March 28 victory against incumbent Goodluck Jonathan partly to a perception that Jonathan allowed corruption to get out of control — especially in the oil sector.
A string of multibillion dollar oil corruption scandals tainted the NNPC and other bodies that handle energy.
By contrast, Buhari was seen as one of the few Nigerian leaders to have cracked down on corruption during his military rule in 1983-1985. Many Nigerians hope he will again, Reuters said. APC leader Bola Tinubu, whose support was instrumental in Buhari’s victory and wields huge influence, told Reuters a transitional committee would be set up. “No way will we discuss that now,” he said.
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