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Massive shake-up at NNPC, several managers redeployed

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commenced the massive redeployment of managers especially in its upstream industry exploration and production subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC).

Sources close to the corporation told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday about 15 managers from the NPDC have been affected in the redeployments.

Although the management is discrete about the exercise, the source, who requested not to be named, said the exercise is in line with a pledge by the new Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari, to reposition the NNPC.

Mr Kyari confirmed the development in a brief telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.

“It is official, the reform I promised has taken off,” Mr Kyari told our reporter. “The redeployments at NPDC is (are) the quick fix I have to do immediately to restore the integrity of the system.

“The bottom line is that NPDC is going down and I am determined to take it up. Some people have converted it into a bazaar for contract seekers. I am committed to stop it and breathe a new life into the system to help us attain our national aspirations.”

Our source earlier said the “fumigation exercise” is likely to extend to all the subsidiaries, strategic business and corporate services units across the country.

“The cleansing exercise is ongoing,” the source said. “It has just begun. It will continue and will get to the lower cadres of the corporation.”

“The essence of the strategic reform is to enhance operational efficiency so that the NPDC will be meeting its obligations. The new management at the NNPC wants to inject new blood into the system and reinvigorate a new spirit among the staff to deliver on their mandates.”

PREMIUM TIMES was not able to obtain the names of the affected managers at the time of this report, but the NNPC is expected to make a formal announcement on the matter soon.

Our source said the latest redeployments will help “bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to drive the process of cleaning up the system and block leakages towards improved revenue base in line with the vision of our new GMD.”

Zero tolerance to corruption

To give a fillip to the new regime of reforms in the corporation, PREMIUM TIMES learnt Mr Kyari has already ordered a zero-tolerance for graft, with the objective of clean up the state-run oil corporation, its subsidiaries and business practices.

Also, to plug financial leakages, the source said Mr Kyari has reiterated his management’s pledge to reposition the corporation along the lines of transparency and accountability.

“The focus of the down-to-earth reforms is to ensure transparency and accountability in the dealings by all officials in all businesses by ensuring the corporation plays strictly by the rules.

“It is also a clear indicator the new management at NNPC is ready to champion the anti-corruption drive beyond one-off statements of intent and embrace a fundamental tenet of accountability in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s vision for the oil and gas industry,’’ the source said.

The source also said to demonstrate the commitment to embrace the vision of the new management at the NNPC, the new leadership at the NPDC has already written several letters to the corporation’s joint venture partners to inform them of their expectations.

Apart from warning the international oil companies to step up efforts to fulfil their obligations to their host communities, the NPDC management also reportedly urged them to refrain from diverting funds meant for the communities to pay themselves.

“For too long, officials working with some bands of contractors and JV Partners have treated the state oil as a personal estate. And the new leadership led by the new Managing Director, Mansur Sambo, has sent a very clear warning to them: That era has ended,” the top official said.

The official said the NPDC also reported that the offshore facility for workers had been in a deplorable state and has posed a safety hazard to the workers.

The facility, it was learnt, has been a big mess due to lack of maintenance and the Joint Venture (JV) partners not paying the cash calls or making payments to their host communities for industrial peace.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt the situation became so bad that the NNPC Tender Board shut down all contracts, “to allow all bad contracts to be reviewed for compliance to due process and internationally accepted standards”.

Debt Recovery

Since his appointment, the official said Mr Sambo has embarked on a vigorous debt recovery of millions of dollars owed to the NPDC.

At his inauguration in July this year, Mr Kyari pledged to entrench transparency, accountability and excellence in all operations of the oil corporation.

“The focus on the growth of NPDC is strategic to the country’s overall aspiration to increase the country’s oil production capacity and national reserves. The objective is to make the NPDC production capacity among the top three crude oil-producing companies in the country within the next three years.

“On the gas sector, the strategic aspiration is to open the domestic market further to support improved power generation and the growth of gas-based industries,” the official said.