The President on Monday via his special adviser on Media, Femi Aina announced a new board at the helm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The announcement read as follows;
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as provided for under Section 1(2) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act of 1977, as amended.
The new board is composed of the following:
A.Chairman-Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum;
B. Group Managing Director- Dr Maikanti Kacalla Baru;
C. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance; and
D. The following six persons:
- Mallam Abba Kyari
- Dr Thomas M.A John
- Dr Pius O. Akinyelure
- Dr Tajuddeen Umar
- Mallam Mohammed Lawal, and
- Mallam Yusuf Lawal.
President Buhari urges the new board to ensure the successful delivery of the mandate of the NNPC, ” and serve the nation by upholding the public trust placed on them in managing this critical national asset.”
(Media and Publicity)
July 4, 2016
It has however been brought to our attention that the appointments might have been done in a way that suggest that the law was not followed completely. Here are the two reasons;
1. Number of members of the Board of NNPC – The List of Board Members of the NNPC included about 6 people apart from the Chairman, GMD and Perm Sec of the Ministry of Finance. However, the NNPC act actually called for three people. Here is what Section 1 sub-section 2 of the act says;
[alert-note]The affairs of the Corporation shall, subject to Part II of this Act, be conducted by a Board of Directors of the Corporation which shall consist of a Chairman and the following other members, that is- (a) the Director-General, Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; (b) the Managing Director of the Corporation; and (c) three persons to be appointed by the National Council of Ministers, being persons who by reason of their ability, experience or specialised knowledge of the oil industry or of business or professional attainments are capable of making useful contributions to the work of the Corporation.[/alert-note]
As you can see, the act requests for three persons, whereas the President nominated 6 persons.
2. Selection of CEO and Board of Directors – The Press release also reveals that the President “approved the composition of the Board”. They also claim this might be illegal as it contravenes a section of the act. See section 3 of the act
[alert-note]There shall be appointed by the National Council of Ministers, a Managing Director of the Corporation who shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation and shall, subject to Part II of this Act, be responsible for the execution of the policy of the Corporation and the day-to-day running of the Corporation’s activities and its associated services.[/alert-note]
Section 1 subsection 2 c above also gives the Council of Ministers and not the President the powers to appoint the three people.
Some lawyers actually argue that the Council of Ministers draw their powers from the President thus giving him the power to appoint and sack any member of the Board of NNPC.
3. Appointment of Chairman – The President also appoint Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe kachikwu as Chairman of the NNPC. However, Section1 subsection 3 clearly states as follows;
[alert-note]The Chairman shall be a Minister in the Government of 1979 No. 44 the Federation to be known and styled as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.[/alert-note]
This also suggests that it is the Minister of Petroleum and not a Junior Minister of Petroleum that should be the Minister. Dr Kachikwu is currently the Minister for State and not a Senior Minister at the NNPC>
This is not the first time the President has been accused of breaking the law in some of his political appointments or actions. In fact, having Kachikwu as GMD was viewed as illegal as the NNPC Act did not provide for that. He also did not have a board for months.