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Buhari’s Approval Delays NNPC Director’s Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari's silence following the recent sacking of eight Group Executive Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has continued to delay the appointment of new directors, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

One of our correspondents learnt that the replacements for the positions are anxiously being awaited by employees of the oil firm as well as stakeholders in the sector.

It was also learnt that eight departments that were headed by the sacked GEDs, had been pruned down to four directorates, while persons to fill these positions had been picked from within the corporation.

The officials, it was learnt, were awaiting the approval of the President as of the time of filing this report.

Sources at the corporation stated that senior officials at the national oil firm had contested plans to bring in individuals outside the NNPC to fill the positions.

At the corporation on Thursday, workers were seen discussing the recent happenings at the firm, while many made it clear that they were apprehensive with respect to plans by the Federal Government to unbundle the NNPC.

The NNPC's spokesperson, Ohi Alegbe, in a statement on Wednesday, had announced the immediate sacking of eight GEDs of the firm.

He, however, did not name the replacements for the positions. But our correspondents gathered that four new directorates might be created by the government, while the names of persons to fill the positions were being considered by the President.

Sources at the corporation stated that the new offices include Directorate of Refining and Engineering, Directorate of Exploration and Production, Directorate of Commercial and Investment, and Directorate of Finance.

The restructuring at the NNPC and the sacking of its entire GEDs happened barely 24 hours after the President appointed Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, as the oil firm's GMD.

The corporation's spokesperson, Alegbe, did not answer calls made to his phone and he did not reply a text message sent to him on the matter.

In a related development, Kachikwu had asked friends and well-wishers to pray for him for divine guidance.

A statement issued by Alegbe stated that the new GMD "appealed to friends and well-wishers to stop placing congratulatory adverts on him in the media."

According to him, Kachikwu views his appointment as a serious national assignment that does not require the frivolity of congratulatory adverts and the celebration they connote.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in the South East on Friday had described the appointment of Kachikwu as proof that Buhari does not bear any grudge against Igbo people
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