12 Aug 2015

Hopes rest on lawyer to clean up Nigeria's oil sector

Hopes to clean up the notoriously corrupt and mismanaged sector are lying with a Harvard-trained lawyer and former Exxon executive, who was appointed this month as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The NNPC had five GMDs from 2010-14, panicking foreign operators wanting to develop long-term oil and gas business with Nigeria Niyazz

Early signs suggest that Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu is planning a break with the past. He sacked eight senior managers the day after his appointment. His background is also seen as giving grounds for optimism. One ex-colleague of his said: 'Clearly, he comes with pretty good credentials as the head of the legal counsel for ExxonMobil for 14 years. Some of the structural reforms the NNPC [Nigerian National Petroleum Corp] requires could use a good legal mind.' 

President Buhari's view

However, commentators on Nigeria are not convinced yet that the president, Muhammadu Buhari, has committed himself to a new approach, even though he was the one who decided on the appointment of Dr Kachikwu. 

General Counsel

Dr Kachikwu has acted as an 'Investment Attorney in USA, as General Counsel with Texaco Upstream and Downstream in Nigeria' and as 'General Counsel for Exxon Mobil Nigeria affiliate Upstream and Downstream Companies in Nigeria', according to detalls about him on a Nigerian energy conferences site. Sources: Financial Times and Conference.Cpeel

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