- The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has tapped the private sector as part of an overhaul of senior ranks intended to clean up the entity at the heart of the country’s economy.
- Emmanuel Kachikwu was appointed this month by President Muhammadu Buhari, who tasked the former ExxonMobil executive with rooting out corruption and mismanagement at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
- Mr Kachikwur said his hiring strategy was intended to “refocus and sharpen” the company. He will also review all production-sharing contracts and joint venture agreements as part of the extensive restructuring.
- About a dozen of the appointments made last week included direct hires from Total, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell . While some of the new recruits have private sector backgrounds, like Mr Kachikwu himself, most are individuals who have spent much of their careers inside the company that he aims to turn round.
- Both Mr Kachikwu and President Buhari are grappling with the same dilemma as the latter seeks to govern Nigeria with more transparency and accountability than his predecessors.
- Repair of state entities, such as NNPC, must take place without so thoroughly purging them as to remove all institutional experience and upset the fragile political balance that underpins Africa’s most populous country and its vast bureaucracy.
- NNPC was at the heart of the industrial scale theft of Nigeria’s resources that took place with government complicity, and resulted in many billions of dollars in oil revenues failing to make their way into state coffers. President Buhari — who was elected on an anti-corruption ticket — and his inner circle, have made the institution’s root and branch reform a priority.
- Days after taking the helm, Mr Kachikwu dismissedNNPC’s top brass, appointed a leaner executive board and reduced the pool of senior managers (by a third to 88).
- Mr Kachikwu wanted to appoint more people with private sector backgrounds but “had to manage the corporate and country politics”, said a source in the Nigerian oil industry, who works for an international oil company.
“Too many outsiders all of a sudden would not have been a good strategy,” he said, adding that the state-owned company “will almost certainly bring in more as time goes on”.
NNPC has said that it aims to create a leaner and more efficient organisation and restructure the company from being a government-focused body towards “a profit-driven business”.
Source: Financial Times