The Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for putting together a broad-based board for the newly created Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.
Mr Okechukwu, who gave the commendation in Abuja, noted that Mr Buhari demonstrated experience and institutional knowledge of the petroleum industry in appointing members of the board.
He specifically praised the president for obliging the Igbo ethnic nationality the slot of chairman, as well as the appointment of Margery Okadigbo, widow of former Senate President, Chuba Okadigbo, into the eight-member board.
Mr Okadigbo was Mr Buhari’s running mate in the 2003 presidential election.
Mr Okechukwu explained that the president’s action was in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.
The VON DG said the PIA requires the minister of petroleum resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the minister of finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The president has directed Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021,” he said.
Mr Okechukwu commended Mr Buhari for his show of tremendous respect for the dictates of the law.
“By the power vested on him under sections 59(2) of PIA 2021, Buhari approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company,” he said.
“For us the Buharists, who know that the president doesn’t nurse any animosity against Ndigbo; it is a vindication that he has not forgotten Ndigbo as being bandied by his traducers.
“Most importantly, one thanks Mr President immensely for these appointments in the hope that he will further work towards closing the chapter of Igbo marginalisation by supporting the election of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023,” he said.
According to a statement by the Presidency, Ifeanyi Ararume, a former senator, is to chair the board, while Mele Kyari and Umar Ajiya are Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.
Other members of the board included Tajudeen Umar (North East), Lami Ahmed (North Central), Mohammed Lawal (North West), Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South East), Constance Harry Marshal (South South), and Pius Akinyelure (South West).