New NNPC board: Still unclear who chairs corporation
Lack Of Properly Constituted Board Breaches NNPC Enabling Law-Adefulu
Though the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Act as amended in 2007 provides for the appointment of nine persons to the Board, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, named six members, leaving the public, including the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as NNPC with the need for clarification.
Statutorily, the Chairman of the board should either be the Minister of Petroleum Resources or the Group Managing Director appointed by the President; the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance; six other persons appointed by the President, who by their experience and knowledge of the oil and gas industry, have the capability of contributing to the Corporation.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina announced, yesterday, that Buhari had reconstituted the NNPC Board following the expiration of the term of the board members appointed in 2016. While the six other members, as listed by extant regulations were appointed by the President and are Mohammed Lawal (North West), Tajudeen Umar (North East), Adamu Mahmood Attah (North Central), Senator Magnus Abe (South South), Dr Stephen Dike (South East), and Pius Akinyelure (South West).
Expectations were that the GMD, Mele Kyari, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse and the Minister or State Minister of Petroleum Resources, who should be the chairman would make up the other three members of the new board.
Recall that Buhari had last year appointed Dr Thomas John as an acting alternate chairman of the Governing Board of NNPC to end the tenure of former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.
John was expected to hold the position until the appointment of a new Minister or Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. It was, however, not clear, if the President, who doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources is holding to the chairmanship of the board or the Minister of State, Timipre Sylva.
When asked of the full list of the board, a reliable source at NNPC noted that the corporation is still awaiting communication on the matter from the Presidency.
Another source noted that Sylva has been chairing the board of the corporation and that the board has been active.At the time of filing this report, request by The Guardian for further clarification from the Presidency was not attended to.
Energy expert, Adeoye Adefulu stated that the lack of a properly constituted board is not just a breach of the enabling law of NNPC, but also takes away one of the most important mechanisms for ensuring accountability, providing a strategic direction and bolstering corporate governance of the Corporation.