A civil society group, Stand Up Nigeria, under the leadership of Comrade Sunday Attah, has reacted to the attacks on the leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPLC) by an online news portal, Sahara reporters.The group described the report which aimed at portraying the NNPLC in bad light as malicious and unwarranted.
It recalled that there has been a raging trend of assault, image smearing and blackmail of the corporate image of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) by the media outlet wherein ugly and untrue stories have been published against the leadership of the NNPCL with scenarios that can only be imagined painted by these evil actors.
The group said; “As patriots and men of good conscience who have vowed to ensure that the truth is told to the world; Stand Up Nigeria as a civil society movement, has taken it upon itself as a responsibility, to ensure that the elements of slander and blackmail against men of goodwill is put to shame as we reveal the underground dealings and the truth about the whole scenario.
“The wicked, malicious and evil allegations of inappropriateness of the disengagement of the GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari and GED F&A, Mr. Umar Ajiya from the services of the old Corporation and their subsequent appointment by Mr. President to commence a new tenure as Group CEO and CFO in the new NNPC Limited as published by Sahara reporters April 12, 2023 is uncalled for and should not be taken seriously.
“Recall the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act by President Muhammad Buhari and the successful transition of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to a commercially driven National Energy Company, the NNPC Limited.
“The creation of the PIA 2021 made it clear that the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Board of Directors is the sole responsibility of Mr President.
“Sahara Reporters in its bid to mislead the public without understanding the provisions of the Act, however reported that the appointment of the CEO and CFO of NNPC Limited by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is on the basis of distinct terms and conditions of Service including tenure, employment benefits and termination.
“The public is however aware that the appointment of CEO and CFO are not career postings as erroneously and foolishly presented by Sahara Reporters.
“Let me at this point direct Sahara reporters to section 59(3) of the PIA 2021 which clearly stated and stipulated the conditions considered in appointing the CEO and CFO of NNPC Limited without recourse to previous employment ranks in the Corporation. The previous rank of GMD or GED F&A was therefore not a consideration in the appointment of the CEO or CFO of NNPC Limited.
“We, therefore, call on all Nigerians to disregard the publication by Sahara reporters which are known for misrepresentation of facts in order to blackmail the leadership of the NNPCL.
“It’s clear that Sahara Reporters lacks knowledge or understanding of the circular issued by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, dated 27 July 2009, which explicitly stated that appointments as Chief Executives of Government-Owned Companies are “tenured appointments”, and in respect of such tenured appointments, career officers who wish to take up such appointments shall retire from service, in order to run their tenure uninterrupted. The circular recognises a distinction between a tenured appointment to serve as Chief Executive of a government-owned company, as distinct from a career office.
“Our investigation revealed that Sahara reporters is famous for slandering the government,decent and diligent public office holders of Nigeria as well as highly placed and respected public figures we hereby call the Hon ministers for communications and digital economy as well as that of information and culture to please take necessary steps in banning the Sahara reporters from the Nigerian media space.
“While we also encourage the NNPCL to take legal actions against the Sahara reporters, we call on Sahara reporters to stop with immediate effect the raging trend of assault and image smearing viz blackmail of the corporate image of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).”