The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has stated that he was misquoted by some sections of the media which reported him as saying last week that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, would by this week be unbundled into 30 different companies, stressing that he was only referring to the “subsets” of the state oil firm which are the subsidiaries.
He disclosed that what was ignored in his statement about the new structure of the NNPC is that there will be “subsets. Subset is the unbundling. It is not a direct unbundling of NNPC into 30. It means that the subsets of NNPC are being unbundled into smaller numbers of companies. It is totally a different thing and the press got it wrong, please.”
He made this clarification on Tuesday while announcing at a news conference in Abuja that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate unbundling of the NNPC into five business and two services components as well as appointed those to head the units with immediate effect.
Dr. Kachikwu announced the restructuring as follows: for the Upstream division, Alhaji Bello Rabiu, who used to be the Group General Manager, Corporate Planing & Strategy, will now serve as the Chief Executive Officer, CEO; for the Downstream, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih was brought in as Chief Executive Officer; Anibor Kragha, who was formerly GGM Treasury, is now to be in charge of Refineries division while Alhaji Saidu Mohammed who was the MD of Kaduna Refinery has been appointed CEO, Gas & Power.
Dr. Kachikwu also noted that, “the new NNPC comprises a lean headquarters”, explained that the GMD is still the Chief Executive of NNPC, noting that all that has been done is to decentralize authority to allow the heads of divisions exert their creativity. He added that the restructuring is also meant to create work for staff members who are not productively engaged in the corporation.
He assured that the new arrangement will eliminate bureaucracy in the operations of the corporation and that each of the constituent units would be profit-driven.
According to him, “We have so much property in Nigeria that sometimes we don’t even know where they are. In some cases, we found out that some property had been encumbered and nobody followed up on them. This was because it wasn’t a business, it was just an allocation to do an office, which didn’t happen and so it was just there.
“Shell, for example, recently passed back to us a huge complex in Warri, which used to be their headquarters.”
When asked if the steps he was taking won’t conflict with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, the NNPC boss said he was liaising with members of the National Assembly and that the restructuring agreed with the PIB, in principle.