This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Andrew Yakubu Takes Over As NNPC GMD

President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday announced the appointment of Mr. Andrew Yakubu as the new Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with immediate effect.

Yakubu, appointed with a new group executive management team, will be taking over from Mr. Austin Oniwon, who retired having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 last year. Oniwon was retired with three other group executive directors.

Yakubu, who is the 15th NNPC boss, is a 1979 graduate of Chemical Engineering from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and joined NNPC 32 years ago.

He rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director of Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company and Group Executive Director (GED) in charge of Exploration and Production.

Yakubu is an indigene of Kaduna State and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).

A statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the appointment is "to further strengthen the ongoing reforms and transformation of Nigeria's petroleum sector, and in furtherance of efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in government".

Jonathan also approved the appointments of Messrs. Bernard O.N. Otti, Abiye Membere and Dr. Peter S. Nmadu as group executive directors (GEDs) in charge of Finance and Accounts, Exploration and Production, and Corporate Services, respectively.

Others include Mr. Anthony Ogbuigwe, Dr. Attahir B. Yusuf and Dr. David Ige as GEDs in charge of Refineries & Petrochemicals, Commercial & Investments, and Gas & Power, respectively.

The outgoing management of the NNPC includes the GED in charge of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Michael Arokodare; GED, Refineries & Petrochemicals, Mr. Philip Chukwu; and GED, Engineering & Technology, Mr. Billy Agha, who are to proceed on retirement.

The president also approved the appointment of Mr. Victor Briggs as the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

Jonathan commended the outgoing GEDs for their services to the nation and urged the new management team to be fully committed to rapidly implementing the critical interventions needed to positively transform Nigeria's petroleum industry.

Oniwon, who attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years in April 2011, was re-appointed in February 2011 to stay beyond the retirement age to "allow for continuity and full implementation of critical government initiatives in the oil and gas industry, including the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)," the statement said.

He replaced Shehu Ladan in 2010, barely two months after Ladan took over from Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo.

Following the sack of Barkindo on April 4, 2010, Ladan, who had been retired from the corporation a year earlier by the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, was appointed as the new helmsman.

Oniwon, who served the corporation for 26 years, had been a member of NNPC's management since 1999 and held various positions within the corporation.

Oniwon was the 14th chief executive of the NNPC, and was born on April 1, 1951, in Okene, Kogi State. He started his career with the NNPC in 1977.

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