President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mele Kyari as Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) even as he approves the incorporation of the petroleum industry regulators.

Making this disclosure in a statement on Sunday, the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the appointment was in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) of 2021.

Buhari also appointed Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman of the management board as he set up the board and management for the NNPC Limited.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited,” the statement by Mr Adesina read.

“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the Company.”

“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the Company,” the statement read further.

“Other Board Members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North East), Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North Central), Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North West), Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South South), and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South West).”

The President directed the newly appointed CEO to ensure that relevant actions are taken to ensure that the incorporation is in accordance with the PIA of 2021.

Buhari August passed the PIB into law. Prior to passage, the Petroleum Industry Bill generated a lot furore.

Lawmakers, governors and oil-bearing host communities kicked against the paltry allocations to host communities.

The Southern Governors’ Forum in July kicked against the proposed three per cent sharing formula contained in the passed PIB, asking the National Assembly to stick to the five per cent recommended by the House of Representatives.

The governors also rejected the proposed 30 per cent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins and the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

However, Buhari in abrupt disregard to southern governors concern assented three per cent for host communities in the PIB law.

Peoples Gazette later exclusively reported how a bribe of $10 million was shared among lawmakers to ensure smooth passage of the controversial bill.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, were allegedly said to have pocketed $2 million apiece from the largesse provided by barons in the oil industry.

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