Ahead of Mele Kyari’s Resumption, NNPC Promotes, Disengages Personnel

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

In anticipation of the resumption of its new Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, and his team of seven Chief Operating Officers (COOs) tomorrow, new senior cadre appointments have been made at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). This is part of moves to complete the change of guard, which started at the corporation’s top leadership on June 20, THISDAY has learnt.

THISDAY reliably gathered that the state oil company had promoted more than 12 of its personnel into senior positions. Sources in the corporation said the newly-promoted personnel would fill the vacancies that arose from the appointment of Kyari and his COOs some 17 days ago by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Apart from the promotions, NNPC also terminated the services of some personnel it deemed unneeded. The decision, it was gathered, was in line with Kyari’s thoughts on how to run an efficient corporation.
Among those promoted, THISDAY learnt, were Musa Lawal, who would be in charge of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) as Group General Manager (GGM); and Mansur Sambo, who would head the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) as Managing Director.

On the list also were Adokiye Tombomieye, who would oversee the Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) of the NNPC as its GGM; and Bala Wunti, who takes over as the Managing Director of the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) of NNPC.

There was also Meyiwa Eyesan, who was promoted as the new GGM, Corporate Planning and Strategy (CP&S) of NNPC, while Kate Iheme took over as the new Managing Director of the National Engineering and Technical Company Limited (NETCO).

Others on the promotion list were Salihu Jamari, who now heads the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) as its Managing Director; Abdullahi Isiyaku, appointed the new General Manager, Finance and Accounts of NNPC Pension; and Yinka Adeyemo, who became General Manager, Planning and Commercial of the NPDC.

There was also Bassey Essiet, General Manager, Planning and Business Development of NNPC’s Downstream Directorate; Chris Ugwu, General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) of the NPDC; as well as Billy Okoye, who would now run NNPC Retail, as its Managing Director.

Okoye was until his appointment the head, commercial operations of PPMC.
Similarly, THISDAY learnt that on the list of those who had been disengaged from the services of the corporation was Mallam Garuba Deen Muhammad, who was once a spokesperson of the NNPC as well as GGM in the public affairs directorate of the corporation.

When contacted for comments on the development, the GGM, Public Affairs of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, only told THISDAY he would verify the development and return with a response. He was reminded of his promise before filing this report, but Ughamadu repeated he would get back to our reporter, but was yet to at the time of going to press.

Buhari had on June 20 approved the appointment of Kyari, alongside seven new COOs for the NNPC. The appointment was done ahead of the retirement of Dr. Maikanti Baru, whose term of service at the NNPC ended on July 7.

Until his new appointment, Kyari, a geologist, was GGM, COMD of NNPC and also Nigeria’s national representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Buhari had asked Kyari and the newly appointed COOs to work with Baru and his retiring team until today, July 7, to facilitate a smooth transition tomorrow, when their appointments would take effect.

The newly-appointed COOs were Roland Ewubare, who was made COO, Upstream; Mustapha Yinusa Yakubu, COO, Refining and Petrochemicals; Yusuf Usman, COO, Gas and Power; Lawrencia Nwadiabuwa Ndupu, COO Ventures; Umar Isa Ajiya, Chief Financial Officer.
Others were Adeyemi Adetunji, COO Downstream, and Farouk Garba Said, COO, Corporate Services.