President Muhammadu Buhari has fired eight Group Executive Directors (GED) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The sack of the top echelon of the corporation, which takes immediate effect, followed Tuesday?s removal of the NNPC?s Group Managing Director, Joseph Dawha.
Mr. Dawha was replaced by Emmanuel Kachikwu, a former Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Africa.
The sacked Group Executive Directors (GEDs) are Ian Udoh, who was in charge of Refining & Petrochemicals; Adebayo Ibirogba, who supervised Engineering and Technical; and David Ige, in charge of Gas & Power.
Others are Aisha Abdurrahman, who headed the Commerce & Investments directorate; Dan Efebo, who was in charge of Corporate Services, Attahiru Yusuf, the GED for Business Development and Bernard Otti, head of Finance and Accounts.
Mr. Dawha, headed Exploration & Production unit in addition to being the GMD.
No replacements were named, but it was gathered that four new group executive director positions had been created and that some names were already being considered by President Muhammadu Buhari to fill them.
Sources at the corporation gave the new directorates as of Refining and Engineering, Exploration and Production, Commercial and Investment, and Finance.
Buhari had a week ago, pledged to fix the oil sector, rid the industry of rot and recover money stolen by operators in the sector.
On Tuesday, he relieved Dr. Joseph Dawha of his appointment as the GMD of the national oil firm, replacing him with Kachikwu, who until his appointment was the Executive Vice Chairman and General Counsel of Exxon-Mobil (Africa).
The President had in late June dissolved the NNPC board.
The Federal Government, through the NNPC, regulates and participates in the country?s petroleum industry.
The NNPC was established on April 1, 1977 as a merger of the Nigerian National Oil Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel.
The law that created the firm permits it to manage the joint ventures between the Federal Government and some foreign multinational corporations, including Shell, Agip, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total.
Through the collaboration with the companies, the Federal Government conducts petroleum exploration and production.
But industry observers had on several occasions complained that the corporation lacked supervision, stressing that it had degenerated to a rent-collector for the government with less attention to transparency and accountability.
On Tuesday, the New York-based Natural Resources Governance Initiative canvassed the need to overhaul the management of the country?s oil sales process by the NNPC as top priority for the Buhari-led administration to stem waste and loss of billions of dollars in revenue.
The international watchdog said in one of its latest reports that the NNPC?s approach to oil sales was suffering from high corruption risks and had failed to maximise returns for the nation.