By Sunday Okobi
Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has welcomed the reconstitution of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by President Muhammadu Buhari with cautious considerations.
PANDEF described the move as a mere scratching of the surface of the problem and urged Buhari to further, carry out a holistic rejigging of the lopsided NNPC management structure, and correct the imbalances, in the interest of equity, fairness, peace and national cohesion.
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Hon. Ken Robinson, PANDEF recalled that the position of Group Managing Director of the NNPC was traditionally and rightly, reserved for persons from the South-south geopolitical zone, which produces about 95 per cent of the nation’s crude extraction.
It argued that it would not be out of place to ask for the restoration of that tradition.
“PANDEF however notes that the latest NNPC Board composition as announced by the presidency, shows a departure from the 2016 Board arrangement, which had no representation from the South-East zone, an oil producing zone, and to that extent, therefore, commendable.
“PANDEF further implores those, particularly from the Niger Delta Region, newly appointed to the Board of the NNPC, to shun partisan and miniature interests in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities”.
It insisted that the major concern of the Niger Delta region is the skewed composition of the Executive management of the NNPC, and appointment of Chief Executives of the corporation’s subsidiaries.
“It is simply abhorrent that the Group Managing Director, (GMD), the Chief Finance Officer, Finance and Account, the Corporate Secretary/Legal Adviser to the corporation, and chief executives of virtually all strategic divisions and subsidiaries of the NNPC are persons from the Northern zones of the country,” PANDEF said.