The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, has provided a detailed explanation and supported by key provisions of the law which clears doubt and insinuation about alleged unlawful engagement of Mele Kyari to head the new company.
According to Garba Deen Muhammad, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, certain publications alleging inappropriateness of the disengagement of the Group Managing Director, GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari and Group Executive Director, GED F&A, Mr. Umar Ajiya from the services of the old Corporation and their subsequent appointment by Mr. President to commence a new tenure as Group CEO and CFO in the new NNPC Limited are not correct.
Muhammad, while providing further clarifications referred the public to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, and the successful transition of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPCL, to a commercially driven National Energy Company, the NNPC Limited.
He said further that the PIA 2021, in addition to the creation of NNPC limited made clear and unambiguous provisions relating to Governance, Administration, and the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Board of Directors by Mr. President.
He also noted that the PIA 2021 is deliberate about the long term sustainability of the 20 years long petroleum industry reform that climaxed in the creation of NNPC Limited as a commercially driven National Energy Company, with focus on sustainable value creation..
“Pursuant to the provisions of the Act, appointment of the CEO and CFO of NNPC Limited by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is on the basis of distinct terms and conditions of Service including tenure, employment benefits and termination. The appointment of CEO and CFO is not a career posting as erroneously presented by Sahara Reporters.
“Specifically, section 59(3) of the PIA 2021 has clearly stipulated the conditions to be considered in appointing the CEO and CFO of NNPC Limited without recourse to previous employment ranks in the Corporation. The previous rank of GMD or GED F&A was therefore not a consideration in the appointment of the CEO or CFO of NNPC Limited.
“Consequently, by virtue of the appointments of Mallam Mele Kyari and Mr. Umar Ajiya as NNPC Limited Group CEO and CFO respectively by Mr President for a tenure of five years each with effect from 16 September 2021 has ended their employment with the Corporation and are thus entitled to their terminal benefits in respect thereof. Based on the provisions of the Act, the new tenured roles they assumed with NNPC Limited cannot be regarded as continuance of their previous positions in the defunct Corporation.
“For further clarity on the misrepresentation of facts by Sahara Reporters, the Circular issued by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, dated 27 July 2009, has explicitly stated that appointments as Chief Executives of Government-Owned Companies are “tenured appointments”, and in respect of such tenured appointments, career officers who wish to take up such appointments shall retire from service, in order to run their tenure uninterrupted. “The circular recognises a distinction between a tenured appointment to serve as Chief Executive of a government-owned company, as distinct from a career office.” he said.
Muhammad, again pointed out that public service rules require termination of any fixed career appointment to take up a tenured role, adding, “It is therefore our belief that the informed general public will disregard the misinformation and misrepresentation of facts published by Sahara Reporters. NNPC compensation does not pay gratuity into billions and we are a compliant organisation that is committed to delivering greater value to Nigerians in strict compliance with extant laws and circulars.”
He said the Group CEO and the CFO have demonstrated patriotism by ending their career appointments with the Corporation to serve the nation on five years tenured appointment in NNPC Limited.
Muhammad therefore urged the public to disregard the spurious and malicious publications while the company will take necessary legal steps to seek redress.