The new board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is a combination of technocrats and politician that have exhibited their un-alloyed loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Their experience over the years across the civil service and businesses in their field of professional competences are expected to be deployed to shape the activities of the NNPC for the next four years. The members are:
Industry operators have advised members of the new board to put aside their political toga and chart a part of progress for the corporation in particular and the oil and gas industry at large. They have been urged to ensure that the corporation is professional run without much interference.
Bank-Anthony Okoroafor , immediate past chairman of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) implores the board members to work with the group managing director of NNPC and Minister of state for Petroleum Resources to leverage this period of low oil price to push to pass a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that is good for the country and the industry; support the industry so that more projects can take FID, make Nigeria attractive for oil & gas industry investments, create more credible Oil & Gas E & P Entrepreneurs using the Marginal bid round.
Diran Fawibe, chairman and chief executive officer of IESL/Doris Joint venture, said, they should work with the group managing director of NNPC for the betterment of the industry.
The Board members
Mohammed Lawal: He is a former deputy director of Buhari Presidential Campaign Council. He continued to be on the board after serving the last term because of the trust the President has in him.
Tajudeen Umar: He is a diehard ‘Buharist’. He is a former chairman of the Joint Development Authority (JDA), an exclusive economic zone overlapping Nigeria’s maritime boundaries and law and Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone.
Pius Akinyelure: He has been a board member since 2016. He is a renowned industrialist and businessman and has been Bola Tinubu’s close ally, dating back to their time at Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc where Akinyelure served as executive director, while the APC national leader was the accountant. He was also a pioneer vice chairman of the All Progressives Congress from 2014-2018.
Adamu Mahmoud Atta: He is one of the new members from North-Central. Atta is chief executive officer of Matad Group Nigeria Ltd. He is also on the board of Wapic Insurance Plc and member of Nigerian Business Forum. The businessman received an undergraduate degree from Alliant International University, a graduate degree from Ahmadu Bello University and a post-graduate degree from the University of California.
Stephen Dike: He is a new comer to the board. He is from the South-East. Dike is a product of West Virginia University, with an MBA from the institution. He is also founder of Westcon International Ltd. Dike currently is chairman of Advanced Management & Technological Solutions. He is also on the board of Niger Insurance Co. Plc and Enugu Electricity Distribution Co. Plc.
In his past career Dike held the position of chief executive officer at Westcon International Ltd.; Manager-Risk Management at Coyanosa Gas Services Corp. and Chairman at Nigerian Educational Research & Development Council.
Magnus Abe (South-South): He is a seasoned politician from Rivers State. A trained lawyer, he has served in different capacities in his home state. He was the state’s Assembly Minority Leader, Commissioner for Information and Secretary to the Government. At the national level, he represented Rivers South-East in the Senate before moving to the APC in 2014.
There are other statutory members, including the minister of Petroleum who is the chairman of the board; group managing director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, and the permanent secretary Ministry of Finance.