• Kachikwu is 6th GMD in 6 years
  • Why Juwah’s second term was aborted

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made good his threat to change the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC by firing its Group Managing Director, Dr. Joseph Thlama Dawha.
The President, through his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, named Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as Dawha’s successor.
Dr. Kachikwu, who hails from Onicha-Ugbo in Delta State, was until his new appointment yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman and General Counsel of Exxon-Mobil (Africa). With the development, Kachikwu becomes the sixth GMD of the NNPC in six years and the 17th in the history of the corporation.
Similarly, President Buhari has appointed Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
By this action, the President has refused to recognise former President Goodluck Jonathan’s letter renewing Engineer Eugene Juwah’s tenure as the NCC boss by another five years. The termination of Juwah’s second is linked to the role the NCC played during the 2015 election campaigns when it stopped Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress, APC efforts to use some GSM firms’ platforms to raise funds.
The new NNPC GMD is a First Class Graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Nigerian Law School. He holds a Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Law from Harvard Law School and started his working career with the Nigerian/American Merchant Bank before moving on to Texaco Nigeria Limited from where he joined Exxon-Mobil.
His appointment is however a marked departure from the tradition where most of the past GMDs of the NNPC were directors in the corporation.
For instance, Dawha had served previously as the Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of NNPC before he was appointed by Jonathan as the GMD.
Dawha, who hails from Borno State, had also worked for the corporation as the Managing Director of Integrated Data Services Ltd IDSL, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
His predecessor, Andrew Yakubu was equally appointed in June 2012 from the system. He took over from Mr. Austin Oniwon, who retired having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 in 2011.
He rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director of Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company as well as the GED in charge of Exploration and Production. He is an indigene of Kaduna State and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE.
The GMDs before Kachikwu beside Dahwa are Andrew Yakubu, Austin Oniwon, Alhaji Shehu Ladan and Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, who former President Goodluck Jonathan inherited from his predecessor, the late Shehu Yar’adua. Ladan had the shortest tenure of seven weeks in the history of the NNPC.
Kachikwu has since resumed office.
In fact, when Juwah last January shutdown a Short Messaging Service, SMS platform which the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Fundraising Committee launched to raise funds for its campaign, little did he know that seven months after he would pay for the “sin” with his job.
The Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo, had told a news conference in Abuja, stated that the service providers violated NCC rules by failing to get approval from it before running SMS campaigns for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
But former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who was then the Director of the Committee, told journalists that APC launched five platforms for members to donate to its campaign funds but that NCC issued a letter to telecoms operators “not to carry political messages” thereby shutting down the SMS platform.
The party subsequently sued the commission, demanding N25billion as damages for allegedly banning its presidential campaign fundraising platform.
The party also accused the commission of discrimination and an infringement on its fundamental right protected by Section 39 of the Constitution and Articles 9 (1) (2) and 19 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
It argued that the NCC did not give the same instruction to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP when it set up the short codes designated: 6661, 662, 6663 and 6664, being managed by one Wagitel Communications Limited, to raise funds for the campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan and his vice, Namadi Sambo, in 2010.
A Federal High Court in Lagos headed by Justice Ibrahim Buba ordered the Nigerian Communications Commission to pay APC N500 million as damages for unlawfully banning the party’s presidential campaign fund-raising platform.
Jonathan’s renewal of Juwah’s tenure even when his first term had not expired did not gone down well with some interests who believed it should have come after the expiration of the first tenure in July.
It was alleged that the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, “hurriedly” renewed Juwah’s tenure.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that President Buhari declined to recognise the letter of his reappointment because it was backdated to March 2015.
The Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 stipulates that, “Subject to sections 8(3) and 8(4) of this Act, he (Executive Vice Chairman) shall hold office for a term of five years and may be renewed for another term and no more.”
Danbatta (new NCC boss) who holds a Doctorate Degree in Electronic Engineering, takes over from Dr. Juwah whose tenure expired on July 29, 2015.
Before his appointment, Prof. Danbatta held top management and leadership positions at different times including Head of Department, Dean of Faculty, Director, Centre for Information Technology, Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (Kano branch), Deputy Vice Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor.
His appointment as Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC is for an initial five-year tenure.
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and has had a meritorious career in which he rose to become Professor of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at Bayero University, Kano, specialising in Telecommunications Engineering and Information and Communications Technology.
His appointment as Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC is for five years in the first instance.