The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained the parametres for employment as well as career progression in the corporation, using the recently concluded Graduate Trainee employment process as well as top Management promotion exercise executed by the corporation as an illustration.
The National Oil company says unblemished academic competence, logical thinking, ability to engage meaningfully in problem solving in addition to federal character are key to becoming an employee of the corporation.
To progress in the Management cadre, professional competence, accountability and transparency as well as ensuring national spread in top management positions are critical factors that are not negotiable.
Explaining the parametres, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the basic academic requirement for newly employed Graduate Trainees in the corporation is a minimum of a Second-Class Upper Division, or an Upper Credit for Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate holders. Alternatively, a candidate holding a Second Class Lower Division degree or an HND Lower Credit Diploma holder, must in addition have acquired a Master’s degree in a relevant field.
He said that was applicable in the last recruitment exercise where qualified applicants undertook computer-based test conducted by a neutral national examinations body, following which the best performers were further taken through a formal interview session to ensure their suitability.
Obateru stated that 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.
The NNPC spokesperson says the fairness in the appointment of the new employees was such that many of the new employees expressed astonishments securing employment in the National Oil Company without any godfather.
He relayed the testimonies of a few of the Graduate Trainees who marveled at the opportunities before them:
Oluwatobi Ayo Yusuf from Lagos: Thanked the NNPC for the vision of providing a level playing field for all the participants in the recruitment process, describing it as the most fair and transparent recruitment that he has ever participated in, in Nigeria.
Onianwa Vin-Kingsley: Described NNPC recruitment process as excellently remarkable and urged other private and government institutions to always take a cue from the NNPC in order to inspire confidence in Nigeria youths.
Onyeulo Ikenna, a First Class graduate of Chemical Engineering: said despite the rigorous online application process for the NNPC job which almost deterred him from applying, he was impressed that he was employed without knowing any godfather anywhere.
Enyi Ada, from Port Harcourt, Rivers State: said NNPC’s employment journey disappointed all her negativity about how recruitment processes were conducted in Nigeria, stressing that despite the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, the corporation was able to conclude the process seamlessly.
Bolarinwa Simeon, a Civil Engineer: Said life was willing to give you whatever you wanted, noting that the entire NNPC recruitment process was transparent and credible from the computer-based test to the interview.
Suleiman Mahmud: Explained that his journey to NNPC was miraculous as he applied on the last day of the application and after receiving his offer of appointment his sick mother recovered from her age-long ailment miraculously.The 1,050 graduate trainees were recently recruited by the NNPC and assumed duty virtually on Monday 4 May, 2020, due to the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Country.
Obateru says the experiences of the long-time employees of NNPC are not dissimilar to those of the new intakes, adding that professional competence, adherence to the principle of transparency and accountability informed the recent top management appointment executed in the first week of March this year.
He further explained that the principle of federal character was also a factor in the progression of the newly appointees. Throwing more light, Obateru stated that many top management officers of the corporation were moved to new positions while some were promoted based on their verifiable track records of performance, saying some Chief Operating Officers, Group General Managers and Managing Directors of subsidiaries were affected in what some industry analysts described as the most objective placement exercise in the recent history of the National Oil Company.
Topping the list of the changes, he said, was the re-deployment of the erstwhile Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream, Mr. Roland Ewubare, to the Ventures and Business Development Directorate as COO.
Under the arrangement, Ewubare, in the new order got an additional responsibility of business development, besides managing the group’s ventures. Obateru stated that Ewubare would bring his competence to bear in the onerous task of laying the groundwork for the corporation to take up new business opportunities and challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 impasse. The new position would also see Ewubare traversing Downstream, Midstream and Upstream sectors to develop new ventures.
Prior to his promotion as COO, Upstream, Ewubare was the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) between August 2017 and July 2019. He was also the Managing Director, Integrated Data Services Limited, an NNPC subsidiary, from August 2015 to August 2017.
Ewubare is from the South South region of the Country.
Obateru said Ewubare’s position as COO Upstream was taken over by Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji, erstwhile Chief Operating Officer in charge of Downstream directorate.
A first-class Mechanical Engineering graduate of the ` started his over 30 years career as a maintenance Engineer and later a project Engineer in Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited (Unilever). Thereafter he joined Accenture, a management consultancy firm, where he rose to become a Partner, providing advisory services on a wide range of subjects for over 20 years.
He joined NNPC in January 2011 as the General Manager, Transformation Office – leading a team of NNPC and International Consultants to implement NNPC’s earlier developed corporate vision and strategic plans. He is from the South West of the Country.
Obateru stated that the recent top management appointment also received affirmative action with the re-deployment of Ms. Lawrencia Ndupu to the Downstream. A Physicists and renowned explorationist, Laura, as she is fondly called by her colleagues, started her working career in NNPC in January 1986, now spanning over 32 years.
Through the years, she has held many key positions amongst which are Deputy Manager Geophysics at NAPIMS, CManager Exploration, Joint Venture Oil Operations Division, NAPIMS, and General Manger Operations, Commercial & Investment Directorate of NNPC. She had managed NNPC Oilfield Services Limited, a position she assumed since March 2016 before her recent appointment as Chief Operating Officer of the Ventures Directorate of NNPC which takes effect from 8th July, 2019.She is from the South-East of the Country.
The changes was also spiced with the appointment of Mr. Bala Wunti, the erstwhile Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company as the new GGM of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).
With a chain of experience spanning close to 30 years, Wunti who hailed from the North East, was the initiator of ‘Operation White,’ a system put in place to promote transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country, and is generally adjudged a perfect fit for the job.
Wunti, a thoroughbred Oil and Gas Industry professional, is a graduate of Chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, with an MBA in Marketing from the Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the same university.
The list also included Mr. Lawal Sade as the new Managing Director of the NNPC Trading Company, a subsidiary of corporation. Before then he was the MD of NIDAS, a shipping arm of the NNPC. Mr. Sade had been essentially a marketer in the last 20 years with impressive outcomes.
During his stint in NIDAS, he secured the admittance of NNPC into the prestigious Oil Company International Marine Forum (OCIMF) membership, a globally recognized shipping community. His ability to deliver on goals has gained NIDAS a lot of credibility whereby its employees, shareholders and counterparties now have faith in its capacity to grow.
Obateru stated that the exercise kept in place Mr. Adokiye Tombomieye, from the South-South, as Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing, a highly strategic position in the corporation.
The NNPC spokesperson explained that the beauty of the new wave of appointments in NNPC depicted a leadership of the corporation determined and bent on ensuring placement of square pegs in square holes, while not losing sight of geographical spread, in respect of staffing.