13 August 2015, Abuja – The President of the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics, Prof. Wumi Iledare, has stressed the need for a technical board to be constituted for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to enable it to function well.
Buhari had in late June dissolved the NNPC board constituted by the immediate past president, following which he appointed a new Group Managing Director, Mr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, for the corporation this month.
Iledare, in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of an industry conference in Lagos, said, “The board of the NNPC must be a technical board of those who have good understanding of what the oil and gas industry is all about. The situation in which you have people who have no knowledge about industry being on the board should be over under Buhari if the NNPC’s primary objective of being a commercial entity is to be accomplished.”
The Director, Emerald Energy Institute, University of Port Harcourt, said with the current GMD coming from the private sector, with private sector experience, “it is imperative to give him a functioning board that does not behave as if it is an executive board, and that begins with making sure there is less political interference with respect to what he does, except of course the president who appointed him.
“In fact, it is going to be in the interest of the president to use the GMD as a surrogate adviser when it comes to the oil industry’s performance.”
Iledare, who is a Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Energy Studies, Louisiana State University, United States, said, “I am hoping that if there is anything President Buhari would make sure we do especially in the oil and gas industry it is to empower institutions, and allow the institutions to function. And that is why I am advocating for a technical board of the NNPC devoid of political interference.
He said the NNPC could compete with its peers such as Saudi Aramco, Statoil and Petronas if political interference was curbed.