Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate suspension of the inauguration of the newly constituted Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

The event which was scheduled to hold on Wednesday has been postponed until further notice.
President Buhari

SaharaReporters, however, learnt that Buhari took the decision because of the numerous petitions against the Chairman of the NNPC Board, Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume.

A top source told SaharaReporters that the petitions against Ararume were so embarrassing that it warranted suspending the inauguration of the newly constituted board.

“The numerous petitions against the chairman of the NNPC board, Senator Ararume from Imo State forced President Buhari to suspend the inauguration of NNPC board,” the source said.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Tuesday disclosed the suspension in a statement titled ‘Suspension of Inauguration of Newly Constituted Board Of NNPC LTD.’

“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate suspension of the inauguration of the newly constituted Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) scheduled for Wednesday 24th November 2021 until further notice,” Mustapha said.

“A new date for the inauguration of the Board will be announced in due course. We deeply regret inconveniences caused to members by this suspension, please.”

The suspension of the inauguration of the board comes two months after the NNPC Limited was incorporated in line with the directive of the President.

Ararume was appointed as Chairman of the Board, while Kyari and Umar Ajiya were Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer respectively.

Other members include Dr Tajudeen Umar (North East), Mrs Lami Ahmed (North Central), Mr Mohammed Lawal (North West), Senator Margaret Okadigbo (South East), Mr Constance Marshal (South South), and Mr Pius Akinyelure (South West).

In a statement dated September 19, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, explained that his principal gave the directive in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources.

“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which 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,” he had said.

One of those who kicked against the appointment of Ararume was the Convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju.

The activist in a statement described Ararume’s appointment as a travesty.

He also described Ararume’s appointment as a display of the Buhari government’s “penchant for outlandish and unconventional methods of appointing cronies and men of questionable characters”.

Adeyanju, while reacting to the appointment of Ararume as chairman of Board said, “The All Progressives Congress, APC we believe has more qualified technocrats and well experienced players in the oil and Gas industry as members that could have been appointed as the chairman of Board of the country’s mainstay source of revenue.

“The Nigeria’s oil and gas sector represents about 65% of government revenues and such sensitive sector ought to be superintended by a competent person who has the requisite knowledge and experience of the industry instead of appointing Ararume whose only major achievements is being a Senator and managing a supermarket.

“Ordinarily, after the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited as a business entity, one would have thought that the president would appoint a business oriented technocrat with a vast knowledge in oil and gas to pilot the affairs of the company but alas, the rudderless government of President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal government opted for a politician with zero experience in oil and Gas industry.”

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