New NNPC Boss, Kachikwu Accused of Sparing Friend, Gbenga Komolafe

imageThe new Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has been accused of sparing his friend in the ongoing restructuring at the national oil company.
Sources said Mr Gbenga Komolafe, who is allegedly linked to several transactions that shortchanged the nation in the oil sector during the last administration, was retained while his counterparts in other departments were forced to resign.
Komolafe who held positions in commercial divisions including Executive Director Commercial, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company and recently the Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division, has now been posted as GGM Special Duties in the oil tower, a new position created by the new GMD.
Sources said the retirement which affects all the senior staff in his former departments for the roles they played didn’t affect Mr Komolafe due to his closeness to the new GMD.
A total of 38 senior management staff were affected in recent retirement as part of the effort of the new administration to clean the system and reposition the company as international oil giant.
“He is believed to be a close friend to the new GMD and is deeply engaged in the recent restructuring in the NNPC,” one of the concerned staff told Daily Trust.
“If people like Haruna Momoh are among the list of the retirees due to their closeness with the former minister of petroleum resources, then there is no reason Mr Komolafe should be spared because he is even closer to the former minister than any body,” the source said.
The new GMD had said that the restructuring in the NNPC was in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration to transform the corporation into a lean, efficient, business-focused, transparent and accountable in keeping with international best practices.
But the sources said with the retention of Mr Komolafe in the tower and even positioned him as GGM Special Duties, the clean up is just a window dressing. “Nothing will change because these are the people that are very loyal to the last administration and his new position empowers him to participate in all the activities in the NNPC, one of the sources said.
When contacted for reaction over the allegation, the NNPC spokesman, Mr Ohi Alegbe, said the exercise which saw the exit of all senior managers who were billed to retire between now and December 2016 is also a cost-saving measure but he didn’t comment on the retention of Mr Komolafe as requested by our reporter.
He said “the task of restructuring the NNPC into a lean, efficient, and business-focused organization has commenced with Management’s approval of the retirement of thirty-eight senior managers.
“The exercise, apart from gearing the Corporation in the direction of a leaner and more efficient organization, has enormous cost-saving benefits,” he added.

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