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EDITORIAL

NNPC Appointments And Other Matters

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the nation’s cash cow in a manner of speaking. Therefore, anything that happens in the industry attracts more than due attention. Appointments, allocation of oil wells and even who sells either the crude oil and or the refined product generate controversy when the decision is made.
Unfortunately, due to past maladministration, lip service only was paid to the demanding need for a diversification of the economy. Government after another kept recycling the platitude of creating other avenues of revenue generation for the country. Not much was done to actualise the urgency of the moment in that direction. It is only when there is a lull in the international oil market and resultant revenue shortfalls that everyone remembers that Nigeria is a mono cultural economy with all the pressure and stress that it comes with.
If other sectors of the economy are pulling their weight and contributing their share of resources into the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), why would appointments etcetera in one sector command such acrimonious attention as what is presently going on in the NNPC?
There was a time in the history of this country that one zone controlled more than 60 per cent of the financial services sector of the economy. Someone will say that is in the private sector which we know is anything but private because remove government from that sector, it will collapse like pack of cards.
This newspaper is by no means suggesting that there ought not to be equity in the distribution of national resource including public offices and appointments and who should man them. What we are saying is that Nigerians should be more concerned about baking the cake than about sharing it. Agriculture used to be the nation’s economic mainstay. Before the coming into office of the Buhari administration, it was merely at the subsistent level necessitating the deployment of huge foreign exchange in food importation. In one word, oil made all of us lazy and complacent.
But today, with the aggressive agricultural policy of the government, fiercely pursued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under Godwin Emefiele, agriculture, agro-business and agro-processing are beginning to sound like music in the ears of many a businessman and even attracting sizeable Direct Foreign Investment (DFI), yielding good results for investors, consumers, the government in terms of food security and foreign savings as well as contributing immeasurably to the GDP. This has made it possible for the country to save the money hitherto wasted in importing food that can be conveniently produced in the country.
Coming back to NNPC, even if one were in a state of self-induced amnesia, one will not forget that in the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr Ibe Kachikwu held two powerful positions in the oil industry for two years as both the Group Managing Director of the corporation and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. Then there were no hues and cries from Pan Niger Delta Development Forum (PANDEF) and other agitators.
It is also pertinent to point out that the argument of the agitators, do not capture the whole truth about what obtains in the conglomerate. First, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylvia is from Bayelsa State and the South-South. He is also the chairman of the board of the NNPC. Also, the six non-statutory members of the board are from the six geo-political zones.
Second, the total population of the NNPC workforce is 7,622 and 4,455 of the employees are southerners while northerners are 3,167, which means that 58.4 per cent of the workforce are southerners while 41.6 per cent are northerners. The breakdown of the total shows that the South-South has 2,459, South-West, 1,036, South-East, 960, North-West, 1,215, North-East, 857 and North-Central, 1,095.
Third, in the General Manager and Group General Manager cadre of the workforce which includes Managing Directors of subsidiaries, out of  68 top managers, 12 are from the South-West, 12 from the South-South, 11 from the South-East, 13 from the North-West, 12 from the North-East and 8 from the North-Central. The figures translate to 51.5 percent for the South and 48.5 per cent for the North.
Southerners holding top positions in the NNPC include Chief Operating Officer, Upstream,    Adetunji Adeyemi, Oyo State; Chief Operating Officer, Ventures and Business Development, Ewubare Ronald Onoriode, Delta State; Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Ndupu, Lawrencia Nwadiubuwa, Imo State; MD NPSC, Oyetunde Ada Nneka, , Abia State; MD IDSL, Bariwe Ayebateke Ferdinand, , Bayelsa State; DGM, Finance, CHQ  F&A, Eshiett Rose,  Akwa Ibom; MD, NNPC Retail Ltd, Okoye Bili Okechukwu, Anambra; GGM, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Tombomieye Adokiye, Rivers;  and GGM, Human Resources GHR, Ladipo Oyeyemi Lawunmi, Oyo State.
These are important positions, too, in the NNPC hierarchy. We are compelled to repeat our earlier argument that expanding activities in other sectors of the economy will reduce the uncalled for hullabaloo around who occupies what position in the oil industry.

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