President Muhammadu Buhari has handed the newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) a six priority target that bothers on sanitizing and repositioning of the corporation.

Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the former Executive Vice Chairman/General Counsel of ExxonMobil (Africa), who took over from Dr. Joseph T. Dawha at the NNPC Towers, Abuja was given the task of recovering stolen oil funds as well as reshaping the corporation in line with other top global national oil firms, among other targets.

According to insider reports monitored by theeconomyng.com, Mr. Kachikwu, a surprise choice by President Buhari was handed six terms of reference to carry out the turn-around of the corporation. The new helmsman was tasked to: clean up the NNPC system of corrupt elements; recover all stolen crude oil funds; and work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Directorate of State Service (DSS) to trace and recover stolen oil cash.

He was also mandated to review the structure of the NNPC to compete globally; set targets to all subsidiaries and put in place performance benchmarks; and fix the (four national) refineries, which must work at optimal level, “even if it means using expatriates in the interim”.

The Choice of Kachikwu

Many Nigerians were surprised by the choice of Kachikwu as the new NNPC boss. His appointment beats the expectations of bookmakers and analysts, and adds to the surprise package President Buhari seems to have assembled in his goody bag for Nigeria. However, emerging facts reveal that Kachikwu’s appointment was a result of thorough research and search for the best candidate instead of the usual political considerations. According to feelers, President Buhari had narrowed his search for Dawha’s successor down to four competent candidates, from where Kachikwu emerged the top choice.

Those also considered and discreetly screened for the job are former Petroleum Products Prices Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Executive Secretary Stanley Reginald; Shell Petroleum Development Company Managing Director Mr. Osagie Okunbor and an unnamed NNPC Deputy General Manager.

“President Buhari was impressed by his impeccable credentials as the most senior black African in any multi-national oil firm in the world with 30 years experience,” a source disclosed.

“Apart from being a First Class graduate, Kachikwu also obtained PhD in Law which enabled him to rise to company secretary in Exxon Mobil,” he adds.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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