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Buhari demands transparency from new NNPC board

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja 
08 January 2022   |   4:16 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the board of the newly incorporated Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to ensure strict compliance with corporate governance principles...

NNPC

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the board of the newly incorporated Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to ensure strict compliance with corporate governance principles that place premium on doing business with the highest ethical standards, integrity and transparency.

President Buhari had, last Wednesday, dropped Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as NNPC Limited Board Chairman. In his place, the President announced the appointment of Senator Margery Chuba Okadigbo, wife of the late President of the Senate, Chuba Okadigbo, as Chairman.

Buhari had, in September 2021, announced the composition of the board and management of the company with Araraume as chairman, but did not inaugurate them.

Inaugurating the board led by Mrs. Okadigbo, yesterday, in Abuja, the President charged them to focus on profitability and operate at par with its peers across the world.

“I expect the NNPC Limited to be mindful of our commitment to our net carbon zero aspirations and to ensure total alignment with the global energy transition realities,” he said.

The President reminded the board members that they emerged as a result of the reforms put forward by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which seeks to reposition the Nigerian petroleum industry to a commercially viable and competitive industry, in line with global business dynamics and best practices.

He added: “NNPC Limited is mandated to focus on profitability and continuous value creation beyond the simple fulfilment of legal and regulatory requirements.

“The inauguration of this board is a major step in the ongoing transition to a more viable petroleum industry that will attract investment to support our economic growth and generate employment to millions of our people.”

Buhari directed full alignment and synergy between NNPC Limited, the Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, in compliance with the provisions of the law in all respects, to deliver the onerous reforms envisaged for the energy industry.

While thanking the leadership and members of the National Assembly for their seamless support in the journey towards a viable, accountable and transparent energy industry, the President said he would count on the professional insights and ethical conduct of the board members to ensure the delivery of his administration’s promises to Nigerians.

In his remarks, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said under the present administration, a lot has been achieved in the petroleum industry, including the signing of the PIA, the registration of NNPC Limited as a company under the Corporate and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the inauguration of NNPC Limited board.

“Mr. President, this is history in the making because this is the first time any President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is inaugurating an independent board of an independent NNPC Limited. This, however, puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of those inaugurated and those of us in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” he said.   

The board members inaugurated by the President are Senator Okadigbo, Chairman; Mele Kyari, Chief Executive Officer; Umar Ajiya, Chief Financial Officer; Dr. Tajudeen Umar (North East), Mrs. Lami Ahmed (North Central), Mohammed Lawal (North West), Henry Obih (South East), Constance Harry Marshal (South South), Chief Pius Akinyelure (South West), Dr. Nasir Gwarzo (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources) and Aliyu Ahmed (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning).