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NNPC board: Ararume loses to power play

Uproar in oil sector after NNPC favours MRS, AA Rano again


President Muhammadu Buhari has dropped Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman of the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and in his place appointed Margret Chuba Okadigbo.

This was contained in a statement by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina on Wednesday.

The statement was, however, silent on why the President dropped Ararume who was earlier appointed as chairman of the board of NNPC.

Sources within Aso Rock told BusinessDay that Ararume may have lost out due to power play between the current Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma.

The President had on September 19, 2021, announced Ararume’s appointment but a statement from the office of the secretary to the government of the federation announced the suspension of the inauguration of the new board without providing any reason.

It was gathered that Governor Uzodimma who is very close to the Villa, had used his influence to prevail on President Buhari to drop Ararume.

Adesina said the appointment of the board and management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited was in accordance with the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

The new appointment also saw Mele Kyari, retaining his position as chief executive officer, while Umar Ajiya, is the chief financial officer.

Also on the new board, are; Tajudeen Umar (North-East), Lami Ahmed (North-Central), Mohammed Lawal (North West), Henry Obih (South-East), Constance Marshal (South-South), and Pius Akinyelure (South-West).

Read also: Auditor-general asks NNPC to refund N663bn federation account

“The appointments take effect from the date of the incorporation of the NNPC Limited,” the statement said.

Also appointed are executive commissioners of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission. They include Nuhu Habib (Kano), executive commissioner, Development and Production, Kelechi Ofoegbu (Imo), executive commissioner, Economic Regulations and Strategic Planning, Tonlagha John (Delta), executive commissioner, Health, Safety, Environment, and Community, while Jide Adeola (Kogi), is the executive commissioner, Corporate Services and Administration.

The President had earlier appointed the board chairman, CEO, executive commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management, and executive commissioner, Finance and Accounts, for the commission,

The President also announced new appointees at the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority. They include Francis Ogaree (Rivers), executive director, Hydrocarbon Processing, Mustapha Lamorde (Adamawa); executive director, Health, Safety, Environment and Community; Mansur Kuliya (Kano), executive director, Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund; Bashir Sadiq (Sokoto), executive director, Corporate Services and Administration, and Zainab Gobir (Kwara), executive director, Economic Regulations and Strategic Planning.

They join the board chairman, executive director, Downstream Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, the CEO, and executive director, Finance and Accounts, who had earlier been appointed.

For Midstream and Downstream Infrastructure Fund, the President appointed new council members, including Effiong Abia (Akwa Ibom), Bobboi Ahmed (Adamawa), and Abdullahi Bukar (Katsina).

It would be recalled that President Buhari had last September written the Senate on the administrative structure amendments to the Petroleum Industry Act, which included the appointment of non-executive board members, removal of the ministries of petroleum and finance from the board of the two new institutions, and appointment of executive directors.