LIST: 4 south-south professionals Buhari should consider as petroleum minister
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LIST: 4 south-south professionals Buhari should consider as petroleum minister

As Nigerians from all walks of life await President Muhammadu Buhari’s new team at the Federal Executive Council, expectations are high that the Nigerian leader will give room for professionals in his cabinet and do away with career politicians.

Many have urged the president to divorce himself from the ministers who have been unable to add value to governance in the last four years.

This is as the president is kick-starting his last term and he has been urged by various political analysts and commentators to bring in more professionals rather than just ‘settling the boys.’

The president is expected to not just bring professionals into his cabinet, but to also ensure that those who man each ministry are familiar with that field and have extensive experience in the sector.

One ministry that many expect the president to bring in a core professional is the ministry of petroleum. The oil and gas industry have been the pivot on which the Nigerian economy has depended for decades.

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The sector accounts for more than 80% of foreign exchange revenue, but contributes less than 20% to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). In spite of the huge revenue accruing from sales of oil and gas, the nation has little to show for it.

Over the years, the sector has been challenged by poor governance, inadequate management of revenue, disjointed fiscal and regulatory provisions and gross inefficiencies in managing the downstream petroleum assets and most importantly, bad leadership.

The ministry is also expected to be manned by a Nigerian from the Niger Delta as the region is the most productive region of the nation which encompasses 78 of the 159 oil fields in the country.

As Nigerians expect Buhari’s Next Level to be different from the norm, have compiled a list of 4 south-south professionals well equipped in terms of experience and excellence to manage the ministry of petroleum.

Read below:

1. Goddy Jeddy Agba

He is a former Group General Manager of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and a well experienced oil and gas top shot. Also, to his advantage, he is a foremost politician and has contested for governorship under the All Progressives Congress in Cross River state.

Agba has the gravitas to meaningfully consolidate and further transform the oil and gas sector beyond where it is today. He has pedigree, requisite education and cosmopolitan exposure to do exploits in the industry. A core professional, Agba has a first degree in International Studies from the Ahmadu Bello University in 1983 and a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. In 1984, he worked as an administrative officer at the ministry of Federal Capital Territory. He served as personal assistant to the ministers of FCT, foreign affairs and petroleum resources at different times during the military regime.

In 1993, he moved to the NNPC as head of the market research and then rose to become the GGM in April 2010. He resigned in 2014, after 30 years in the civil service, to join in the race for Cross River state governor.

2. Umana Okon Umana

He is the current managing director of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority. He has over 25 years’ experience in public finance and management. A staunch APC member in Akwa Ibom state, Umana has a B.Sc. In Economics (1980) and an MBA (Finance) 1987. He has attended specialized management courses in Columbia University Graduate School and a senior executive program at the London Business School. He has at various times served as the state director of budget; permanent secretary budget, commissioner for finance and secretary to Akwa Ibom state government.

3. Olorogun O'tega Emerhor

61-year old Delta-born Emerhor is a colossus in the Nigerian corporate world. An Urhobo by tribe, Emerhor is a chartered accountant, politician, businessman and widely respected leader with considerable investments and a career spanning decade in the financial sector. His professional career includes working in various capacities at Citibank, Fidelity Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Crystal Bank Plc. Emerhor was renowned as the youngest bank MD/CEO in the Nigerian banking industry in 1995.

He is the chairman of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) special fund management board, which is charged with the mandate to raise funds for the development of the Urhobo Nation. He is also the founder and chairman of the Fair Life Africa Foundation, a non-governmental organization which focuses on reuniting street children with their families and sponsoring their education, and empowering the less privileged.

He is a recipient of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award., United Nations – POLAC Ambassador of Peace and an Honorary Citizen of the state of Georgia, USA.

4. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

Edo-born banker, lawyer and philanthropist, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, is an astute business guru, who has been the head of 6 different companies. A core professional, the 52-year old is the current chairman at Wapic Insurance Plc.

He is also on the board of Coronation Capital Ltd., Marina Securities Ltd. and Global Business Coalition on HIV and a staunch member of Nigerian Bar Association. He has occupied the position of chairman of Associated Discount House Ltd., CEO, executive director and group managing director at Access Bank Plc, chairman of Intercontinental Bank Plc and chairman for The Access Bank UK Ltd and president at The Nigerian Stock Exchange.

He possesses extensive international and regional experience, having developed greenfield and brownfield banking businesses in the United Kingdom, Ghana, Zambia, Congo, Rwanda and Cote D'Ivoire. He is a fellow of the African Leadership Institute under the auspices of Aspen Institute, Colorado USA. He is also honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. He holds an LLB and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Benin and the Nigeria Law School, respectively.

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