The composition of the new board of NNPC, the Nigerian state hydrocarbon company, is insensitive to the idea of a Federal structure, according to opinions of a broad swath of leaders around the oil industry.
The government announced Maikanti Baru, from Bauchi state, once the political capital of Northern Nigeria, as Managing Director, with Ibe Kachikwu, from Delta State, in the South zone as chairman.
Of the seven remaining members: Abba Kyari, Thomas John, Pius Akinyelure, Tajuddeen Umar, Mohammed Lawal, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, and Yusuf Lawal, only two are Southerners.
The industry’s argument is that a lopsided composition of the board of NNPC skewed to the north does not help the government in challenging ethnic militias who claim to be fighting in the interest of the Niger Delta.
But a publication in the pro-South newspaper, The Vanguard, last weekend, counters that the last NNPC board constituted by the Goodluck Jonathan administration was also skewed to the South. Its members included Diezani Maduekwe, Steven Oronsaye ,Olusegun Okunu, Daniel Wadzani, Benard O. N. Otti, Peter Nmadu, Taye Haruna, Bukar Abdullah.
“Two wrongs don’t make it right”, industry leaders argue.