By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC), Sunday, disclosed that some of the criteria required for employment and appointments in the corporation include unblemished academic competence, logical thinking, ability to engage meaningfully in problem solving in addition to federal character. In a statement in Abuja, the NNPC added that professional competence, transparency, accountability and national spread, were the bases for employment and management progression in the corporation.
Speaking about the parameters, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, who also clarified recent appointments in the corporation, stated that the fairness in the appointment of the new employees was such that many of the new employees expressed astonishments securing employment in the national oil company without any godfather.
The 1,050 graduate trainees were recently recruited by the NNPC and assumed duty virtually on Monday, May 4, 2020, due to the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Obateru further stated that the experiences of the long-time employees of NNPC were not dissimilar to those of the new intakes, adding that professional competence, adherence to the principle of transparency and accountability informed the recent top management appointment executed in the first week of March this year.
He further explained that the principle of federal character was also a factor in the progression of the new appointees
Throwing more light, Obateru stated that many top management officers of the corporation were moved to new positions while some were promoted based on their verifiable track records of performance, saying some Chief Operating Officers, Group General Managers and Managing Directors of subsidiaries were affected in what some industry analysts described as the most objective placement exercise in the recent history of the National Oil Company.
Topping the list of the changes, he said, was the re-deployment of the erstwhile Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream, Mr. Roland Ewubare, to the Ventures and Business Development Directorate as COO. Under the arrangement, he noted that Ewubare, in the new order got an additional responsibility of business development, besides managing the group’s ventures.
Obateru stated that Ewubare would bring his competence to bear in the onerous task of laying the groundwork for the corporation to take up new business opportunities and challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 impasse, adding that the new position would also see Ewubare traversing downstream, midstream and upstream sectors to develop new ventures.
He said, “Prior to his promotion as COO, Upstream, Ewubare was the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) between August 2017 and July 2019. He was also the Managing Director, Integrated Data Services Limited, an NNPC subsidiary, from August 2015 to August 2017. Ewubare is from the South South region of the Country.
Obateru noted that Ewubare’s position as COO Upstream was taken over by Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji, erstwhile Chief Operating Officer in charge of Downstream directorate. He said, “A first-class Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University of Lagos, Adeyemi started his over 30 years career as a maintenance Engineer and later a project Engineer in Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited (Unilever). Thereafter he joined Accenture, a management consultancy firm, where he rose to become a Partner, providing advisory services on a wide range of subjects for over 20 years.
He joined NNPC in January 2011 as the General Manager, Transformation Office – leading a team of NNPC and International Consultants to implement NNPC’s earlier developed corporate vision and strategic plans. He is from the South West of the country.” Obateru stated that the recent top management appointment also received affirmative action with the re-deployment of Ms. Lawrencia Ndupu to the downstream segment. A Physicists and renowned explorationist, Laura, as she is fondly called by her colleagues, started her working career in NNPC in January 1986, now spanning over 32 years.
“Through the years, she has held many key positions amongst which are Deputy Manager Geophysics at NAPIMS, CManager Exploration, Joint Venture Oil Operations Division, NAPIMS, and General Manger Operations, Commercial & Investment Directorate of NNPC. She had managed NNPC Oilfield Services Limited, a position she assumed since March 2016 before her recent appointment as Chief Operating Officer of the Ventures Directorate of NNPC which takes effect from 8th July, 2019. She is from the South-East of the Country. “The changes was also spiced with the appointment of Mr. Bala Wunti, the erstwhile Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company as the new GGM of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS). “With a chain of experience spanning close to 30 years, Wunti who hailed from the North East, was the initiator of ‘Operation White,’ a system put in place to promote transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country, and is generally adjudged a perfect fit for the job.
“Wunti, a thoroughbred Oil and Gas Industry professional, is a graduate of Chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, with an MBA in Marketing from the Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the same university. “The list also included Mr. Lawal Sade as the new Managing Director of the NNPC Trading Company, a subsidiary of corporation. Before then he was the MD of NIDAS, a shipping arm of the NNPC. Mr. Sade had been essentially a marketer in the last 20 years with impressive outcomes.
During his stint in NIDAS, he secured the admittance of NNPC into the prestigious Oil Company International Marine Forum (OCIMF) membership, a globally recognized shipping community. His ability to deliver on goals has gained NIDAS a lot of credibility whereby its employees, shareholders and counterparties now have faith in its capacity to grow.” Obateru stated that the exercise kept in place Mr. Adokiye Tombomieye, from the South-South, as Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing, a highly strategic position in the corporation. The NNPC spokesperson explained that the beauty of the new wave of appointments in NNPC depicted a leadership of the corporation determined and bent on ensuring placement of square pegs in square holes, while not losing sight of geographical spread, in respect of staffing.