The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, management on Thursday confirmed PREMIUM TIMES’ exclusive reports on the retirement of some of its top officials as a fallout of the recent N14 billion missing petrol scandal that rocked the national oil company.
On Sunday, this newspaper exclusively reported that top officials indicted by a committee constituted to probe the scandal involving Capital Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited owned by businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah, were recommended for immediate retirement. The NNPC, on Sunday, confirmed the compulsory retirement of three of the officials.
Although the committee’s initial recommendation was for outright dismissal from service of the staff for their alleged roles in the scandal, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the top management of the NNPC later converted their dismissal to retirement.
In a statement on Thursday, the NNPC announced the immediate retirement of three of the officials, and redeployment of four others, “in line with the ongoing reforms.”
The statement by the NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, listed the retired staff to include Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, who was the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited; Alpha Mamza, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Limited, and Kayode Erinoso, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Limited.
Mr. Ughamadu said those deployed to take over from the retired officials included Adeyemi Adetunji as Managing Director of NNPC Retail Limited; Lawal Bello, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Limited; Affiong Akpasubi, Executive Director, Services, NNPC Retail Limited, and Agwandas Andrawus, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Limited.
He said all the appointments take effect immediately.
Until his latest assignment, Mr. Adetunji was the General Manager, Strategy & Planning, Gas & Power and former General Manager, Transformation Office of the NNPC.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, charged the deployed staff to remain committed to their duties in line with the transformation aspirations of his management.
The retired officials were on Tuesday served their letters directing them to proceed on compulsory retirement immediately.
They were found culpable in the scandal involving about 130 million litres ‘missing’ petrol stored in the tank farms of Capital Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited and MRS Petroleum Limited.
Although MRS Petroleum managed to clear its name over the scandal with the NNPC management, the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Henry Ikem-Obih, said the state oil firm was still having problems with Capital Oil.
Mr., Ikem-Obih said the company Chairman, Ifeanyi Ubah was yet to offer any acceptable explanations as to why the entire stock of products kept in his company’s storage facilities were sold off without the knowledge of NNPC Retail and the parent company.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt on Thursday Mr. Ubah, who has been a guest of the Department of State Security, DSS in the past two weeks since the scandal broke, has not been able to meet the conditions by the security agencies to secure his release.
A source close to the presidency said the security operatives were directed to keep Mr. Ubah with them for as long as it would take to extract from him a commitment to an acceptable repayment schedule for the full value of the petroleum product that was sold from its custody estimated at about N14 billion.