The plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to personally oversee the Petroleum Ministry became clearer on Friday as he sacked the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The directive to that effect was conveyed in a letter signed on the same day by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Barr.Danladi Kifasi.
In the letter, Buhari thanked members of the dissolved board for their services to the nation.
The board was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Under the board, NNPC had been enmeshed in cases of fraud and allegations of mismanagement of funds accruing to the country from the sales of crude oil.
The National Assembly is also currently investigating cases of fraud in the swap deal of crude oil with some foreign companies.
It could be recalled that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was fired by President Jonathan for revealing that about $20 billion could not be accounted for by the NNPC.
A forensic auditing firm which was later reluctantly contracted to investigate the case, put the amount at $18.5 billion.
The board’s dissolution came through a letter, signed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi, in which Buhari thanked the board members for their services to the country.
The members of the dissolved board include:
Dr. Joseph T. Dawha – Group Managing Director
Mr. Bernard O.N. Otti – Group Executive Director, Finance & Accounts
Dr. Dan Efebo Group Executive Director, Corporate Services
Alhaji Abdullahi Bukar – Member
Mr. Danladi Wadzani – Member
Prof. Olusegun Okunnu – Member
Mr. Danladi Kifasi – Member
Mr. Steven Oronsaye – Member
Ikechukwu Oguine – Coordinator, Legal Service Secretary to the Corporation.
It was part of efforts to reform the Oil sector and move towards transparency, as Buhari is expected to take direct charge of oil issues, indicating that he won’t appoint a Minister for Petroleum Resources, at least for the time being.