Brown’s appointment did not breach Nigerian law, says Seplat
After a report condemned its move to appoint a foreign Chief Executive Officer, SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company has defended its decision to name Roger Brown as CEO. The firm insisted that the appointment was in compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act
“All the activities of SEPLAT as a corporate citizen are in fulfilment of all applicable laws and we hereby state categorically that the decision to appoint Mr. Roger Brown as the next CEO of SEPLAT is in full compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act and is not in breach of any applicable law in Nigeria,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s statement was a rebuttal to a report that alleged that Brown’s appointment negates the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 (the Nigerian Content Development Act).
The report said the company’s decision to replace the outgoing Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Austin Avuru, with a Briton negates Section 30-36 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act and defeats the country’s Local Content (LC) policy.
In the report, a public affairs analyst, Aimhie Odin, opined that Avuru, in his over 38 years experience in the oil and gas sector, has done more for the sector as a Nigerian and suggested that there are more Nigerians in the sector and company to continue from where he stops.
Avuru, the pioneer MD/CEO of Seplat, will retire in July 2020 after leading the oil firm for 10 years. He will be replaced by Roger Brown, the firm’s Chief Financial Officer/Executive Director and a Briton.
Odin said the NCDMB Act made it clear that “at the point where no Nigerian is fit to lead in the position for lack of training, the board should ensure effort is made with reasonable time for a Nigerian to be trained.”
But the company did not share his sentiment.
SEPLAT said it is a law-abiding corporate citizen that maintains the highest level of corporate governance standards in accordance with Rule 17.10, Rulebook of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, 2015 (Issuers’ Rule).
The company noted that Brown has been with the Company for six years and has served in the capacity of chief financial officer (CFO) of the Company.
SEPLAT refuted all the allegations in the report and called on The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the public to disregard it.