Management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has dismissed as untrue allegation that its recent high-profile sack of some staff was part of a broader plan by the Presidency to embark on ethnic cleansing, stating that professionalism has been the guiding principle.
It stated that it was unfair to assert that the NNPC has so degenerated to the extent that it can now be used as to tool for such savage practice.
The fears that the NNPC is embarking on an ethnic cleansing may not be unconnected with the fact that since the corporation’s new boss, Emmanuel Kachikwu, was appointed last week, he has been sacking top management staff, with a threat that more will go.
Kachikwu had tacitly issued the threat on Thursday when he said at the Aso Rock Villa, “If you have not done well enough and we can retrain you, we will. But if you have not done well enough and there is no possibility of retraining, we let you go.”
The GMD had given a hint on the three-pronged strategy for the restructuring of the state-run oil firm, adding it would entail the re-organisation of management personnel, a forensic audit of the firm’s accounts, and a review of its contracts with oil majors and other industry operators.
Already, 38 senior managers were retired on Tuesday barely one week following the sack of eight directors and the reduction of directorate from eight to four in a fresh approach to make the corporation lean, proficient and resourceful.
“I have done the first three layers, which had to do with the GEDs (Group Executive Directors) and Group General Managers. We are going to have a lot more now, the DGMs (Deputy General Managers) and GMs (General Managers), as this would take us to the next layer, which is the lower layer.
“The whole idea is to go back to being able to look at the appraisals, how well they have done on the job and if they have done very well, how do we elevate them to positions where they can offer more service. If they have not done well enough, and we can retrain them, we will, but if they have not done well enough and there is no possibility of retraining, we will let them go.
“At the end of the day, NNPC isn’t a public service, it is a corporation and it is going to be run like a company, generating money and profit for Nigerians, so that the whole concept of anything goes is going to stop and this is the first stage in that whole process,” he said at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.
This has been interpreted to mean further rationalisation of staff particularly from the South-South geopolitical zone.
But, in a statement signed by Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, the corporation clarified that the appointments were made with the express approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and in compliance with extant laws regarding federal character, while the retirement exercise affected all those who were to retire between now and 2016 without any regard to ethnicity or state of origin.
“The recent appointments, promotions, and retirements are all a part of the ongoing restructuring exercise aimed repositioning the corporation into a lean, efficient, profit-driven organisation in line with international best practices without regard to primordial sentiments.”
The oil-management body therefore called on Nigerians to discountenance any report aimed at denigrating the ongoing reorganisation exercise in the corporation.

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