NNPC Justifys How They Selected Over 1,000 New Recruits

During the exercise, the former chief operating officer, upstream, Roland Ewubare was re-deployed as COO to the directorate of ventures and business development.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says all its employment decisions are based on the criteria set out in its statutes, as well as career progression by its staff.

Taking the example of the recent graduate-trainee employment process as well as the exercise of top management promotion, the company said that professional competence, transparency, accountability and federal character were the primary elements.

In a statement on Sunday, NNPC spokeswoman Kennie Obateru said other qualities including impeccable academic integrity, critical thinking and the ability to engage meaningfully in problem-solving were crucial to those seeking to become corporate employees.

Mr Obateru identified professional integrity, accountability and openness as well as striving to achieve national spread in top management positions as crucial and non-negotiable in order to advance as a staffer in the management cadre.

The NNPC spokesperson said the basic academic qualification was a second-class upper division for university students, or a top credit for holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates, for newly recruited graduate trainees from the company.

Additionally, he said an applicant with a lower second-class division degree, or a lower HND credit diploma holder, must also obtain a master's degree in the related field to apply for the job.

In addition, Mr Obateru said in the last recruitment exercise, qualified applicants were required to undertake computer-based tests performed by an independent national examination body.

Following the test, he said the best performers were further taken through a formal interview session to ensure their suitability.

The end-product of the rigorous exercise was the new set of employees who have shown a lot of promise since the beginning of the onboarding programme which started earlier this month including engagements with the group managing director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, and some members of top management of the corporation,” Mr Obateru said.

The NNPC recently hired approximately 1,050 graduate trainees. However, owing to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the federal government declaring a national lockout, the new workers were only able to take on duties effectively on May 4, 2020.

Mr Obateru said the experiences of the long-time workers involved in the latest top management appointment that was carried out this year in the first week of March was no different.

He said the officials affected were required to demonstrate professional competence, adherence to the principle of openness and accountability as well as the values of federal character to advance.

Mr Obateru noted that some of the top management staff involved in the promotion exercise were transferred to new roles while others were promoted based on their verifiable performance track records.

He said it impacted some of NNPC's chief executive officers, company general managers and managing directors.

During the exercise, the former chief operating officer, upstream, Roland Ewubare was re-deployed as COO to the directorate of ventures and business development.

He took over from Adeyemi Adetunji, who was in charge of the downstream directorate as chief operating officer.

A first-class mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Lagos, Mr Adeyemi started his career as a maintenance engineer for over 30 years and later as a project engineer at Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited (Unilever).

He later joined Accenture, a management consulting company where he rose to become a partner, offering advisory services for over 20 years on a wide range of topics.

He joined NNPC as the general manager, transformation office in January 2011 – heading a team of NNPC and foreign consultants to execute the previously established corporate strategy and strategic plans for NNPC.

Under the new structure, Mr Ewubare, besides managing the group 's activities, has additional responsibility for the company growth.

He also said that Mr Ewubare would bring his expertise to the task of laying the foundations for the corporation to take on new business opportunities and challenges posed by the COVID-19 impasse.

In order to establish new projects, the new job will also see Mr Ewubare covering downstream, midstream and upstream markets.

Mr Ewubare was the group general manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) from August 2017 to July 2019, prior to his promotion as COO, upstream.

Around August 2015 and August 2017 he was also the managing director, Integrated Data Services Limited, a subsidiary of NNPC.

Others impacted in the redeployment of management included a physicist and renowned downstream explorer Lawrencia Ndupu.

In January 1986, Ms Ndupu began her work career at NNPC spanning over 34 years.

In addition to being deputy manager of geophysics at NAPIMS and manager of discovery, division of joint venture oil operations, NAPIMS, she was also general manager of operations, NNPC 's commercial & investment directorate.

Ms Ndupu has also been in charge of NNPC Oilfield Services Limited since March 2016, prior to her latest appointment as Chief Operating Officer of NNPC's Ventures Division, effective July 8, 2019.

Other appointments included those of Bala Wunti, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company's former managing director, as the new National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) GGM.

With a chain of experience spanning nearly 30 years, Mr Wunti was the initiator of 'Operation White,' a system set up to promote transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products throughout the country, and is generally recognized as a perfect fit for the work.

Described as a thoroughbred professional in the oil and gas industry, Mr Wunti is a chemistry graduate from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, with an MBA in marketing from Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi and a postgraduate degree in management from the same university.

Lawal Sade as the new managing director of NNPC Trading Company, a corporation subsidiary, was also included in the list.

He was previously the MD of NIDAS, the NNPC's shipping arm. Over the last twenty years, Mr Sade has been a marketer with outstanding success.

During his stint at NIDAS, he secured NNPC 's admission to the prestigious membership of the Oil Company International Marine Forum, a shipping community that is internationally recognized

His ability to accomplish goals has given NIDAS a great deal of respect, with its staff, shareholders and counterparties now having confidence in its ability to expand.

The NNPC spokesperson said the appointments reflected the determination of an
NNPC leadership determined on ensuring placement of square pegs in square holes, while not losing sight of geographical spread, in respect of staffing.