There is simmering unease in the nation’s foremost petroleum administration outfit, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over staff deployment approved at the weekend, by the Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru.

NNPC
New GMD, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru

The postings have generated apprehensions that the recently advertised recruitment into the NNPC, if it follows a similar pattern, might just be a cosmetic exercise, calculated to ingratiate particular interests in the country.

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A three-page document sighted by our correspondent, with a covering note and two attachments, each page signed at both ends of the paper with a red pen by Baru detailed the postings of 19 top level officials, from their substantive positions, to new offices.

NNPC

NNPC

NNPC
List of the newly posted staff

By the new postings, Anas Mustapha Mohammed, General Manager (Cover) Operations, West African Pipelines Company, WAPCO, becomes substantive General Manager, Operations, WAPCO; Usman Faruk, Manager, Asset Management, Nigerian Gas Management Company, NGMC, assumes office as Executive Director, Asset Management, NGMC; while Ali Mohammed Sarki, Manager Exploration, Chad Basin, is promoted General Manager, Chad Basin FES. All three postings are to take effect from May 6, 2019.

Osarolube Ezekiel who was until recently General Manager/Technical Assistant (Refining) to the GMD, becomes Managing Director, MD, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, while Ihya, Aaondover Mson, Manager Rehabilitation, KRPC, takes over from Osarolube Ezekiel, in the office of the GMD in the same portfolio. This swap is with effect from May 13, 2019.

Isah Abubakar Lapai, Executive Director, Services, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd, NPDC, moves over to the position of Group General Manager, GGM, NNPC Leadership Academy; Umar Hamza Ado, Manager, Human Resources, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, moves up as Executive Director, Services, NPDC, while Garba Adamu Kaita, MD NIKORMA Transport Services Ltd, a subsidiary of NNPC, becomes GM, Human Resources and Administrative Services, Duke Oil. All three postings take effect between May 14 and May 19, 2019.

Under the new postings, Manager, Human Resources (Pension), Ossai Uche, becomes GM Support Services, Nigerian Gas Company, NGC with effect from May 30, 2019; Usman Umar, Manager Technical Services, Renewable Energy Division, RED, moves up as Executive Director, Operations, KRPC, effective June 6, 2019; Ehizoje Ighodaro, Manager, OML 26/30 NPDC, assumes duties as GM (Upstream) and Technical Assistant, TA, to the GMD, beginning from June 14, 2019; while Ahmed Mohammed Abdulkadir who functioned as GM (Downstream) and Technical Assistant to the GMD, transits to the position of Managing Director, Nigerian Gas and Marketing Company, NGMC, Gas and Power, beginning from June 16, 2019.

Similarly, Lere Isa Aliyu, Manager, Direct Sales Direct Purchase, DSDP Crude Oil Marketing Division, COMD, becomes GM/TA Downstream Office of the GMD as from June 16, 2019; Richard-Obioha Mayrose Nkemegina, Manager Power Contract and Management, assumes the position of General Manager, New Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG Ventures of the LNG Investments Management Services, LIMS with effect from July 3, 2019, the same day Dikko Ahmed, General Manager, New LNG Ventures, LIMS, becomes General Manager, NLNG, LIMS.

Ibrahim Sarafa Ayobami, Manager Projects, National Engineering and Technical Company Ltd, NETCO, ascends as Executive Director, NPDC on July 16, 2019; Usman Yusuf, Group General Manager/Senior Technical Assistant to the GMD becomes Managing Director, NPDC; Sambo Mansur Sadiq, General Manager, Crude Oil Stock Management, swaps positions with Usman Yusuf becoming GGM/STA to the GMD; while Boggu Louis Tizhe, Manager, Pricing and Valuation, Crude Oil Marketing Division, COMD, assumes the role of General Manager, COMD, all postings taking effect on July 17, 2019, respectively.

There have been concerns about the the abrogation of due process and disregard for extant regulations in the administration of the NNPC, in recent years. Issues of promotions, postings and responsibility, have generated loud murmurs because they seem visibly skewed in favour of particular interests and tendencies.

It has been alleged, for instance that certain individuals have rapidly ascended the positions of Manager, General Manager, Group General Manager and much more, in less than three years, most noticeably under the current dispensation in the organisation. Drawing a parallel with the civil service, a source within the NNPC said ‘there are stipulated gestation periods in every position. It takes a minimum number of years, maybe three years for an Assistant Director to become a Deputy Director, and perhaps the same number of years to become a substantive Director.

Assessments are carried out, examinations are written as part of the grooming process. But what we have witnessed here in recent years, runs against the established service mantra.’ More disturbing, the source obliged, is the fact that officials so catapulted in the NNPC scheme, are not as competent, qualified or experienced as those they have been elevated over, a situation which impacts morale and enthusiasm.

Our source at the NNPC, has expressed worries about why such senior level postings were hastily announced in the twilight of the life span of the present administration, when the government is in transition. With some of the postings scheduled to take effect a month from now, even two months from now. According to the source: “If these postings and appointments were not premeditated, why the haste in appointing people in May, into positions they will not be occupying earlier than two months from now? Are they going on any special training or courses to prepare them for their new responsibilities? Aren’t we all under the over-arching umbrella of the NNPC?”

There are also concerns about the deepening of the sociopolitical gulf in the country, as evidenced by the recent NNPC postings. Said our source: “Please take a good look at this list of just 19 postings. Yes, it may be termed internal staff deployment. But out of the 19 movements and promotions in certain instances, 13 of them are from the North of the country. Symbolically, there are three names from the South South, two from the South East and one from the South West. What manner of posting is this? Where is federal character? Where is justice, equity and fairness? Are we all constituents of this same country? You share 19 positions and 13 are appropriated to one part of the country and you tell us all is well?”

The recent postings, the source said, may be a sign of what to expect from the recently advertised recruitment into vacancies in the NNPC, if not speedily addressed. According to the source: ‘What this posting is hinting at in my view, is that if the recently publicised recruitment into the NNPC aims to employ say 10,000 young people, the section of the country so favoured by the recent NNPC staff deployment, might as well go home with 70% per cent of the positions, while the rest of the country, scrambles for 30 per cent. It is simple deductive reasoning,’ he said.

Pursuing his argument further, the source said: “Maybe we should just assume that the recent advertisements for applications into Customs, Prisons and Fire Services, might as well follow the same pattern. It is becoming very clear that some animals are more equal than the others in the present political dispensation.”

He expressed the hope that The Presidency will take prompt, decisive and appropriate steps to redress the imbalances in the recent NNPC staff deployment, and by extension revisit similar developments in all state-owned institutions and organisations, to engender fairness and fairplay.

Vanguard