After weeks of bated breath, President Muhammadu Buhari finally approved the appointment of Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He formally took over from Dr. Joseph Dawha, who was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan last year, at NNPC’s head office in Abuja on Tuesday.

Talk of Kachikwu’s appointment was rife in the oil and gas industry for weeks, but the president was reported to have taken his time to do a thorough background check before approving his appointment.

Others considered for the job included Mr. Reginald Stanley, a past Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), who clashed with former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke over payments to NNPC for kerosene subsidy claims.

In addition to Kachikwu’s appointment, Buhari also approved the appointment of Professor Umaru Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Danbatta replaces Dr. Eugene Juwah whose five-year tenure expired last week.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Kachikwu, who was the Executive Vice-Chairman and General Counsel of Exxon-Mobil (Africa), hails from Onicha-Ugbo in Delta State.

He is a First Class graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Nigerian Law School, where he was the best graduating student and multiple awards winner in both institutions.

The new NNPC chief executive also has Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Law from the Harvard Law School.

He started his working career with the defunct Nigerian-American Merchant Bank before moving on to Texaco Nigeria Limited where he remained for about eight years before joining ExxonMobil.

Kachikwu, who assumed duty shortly after the announcement on his appointment was made, expressed gratitude to his predecessor, Dawha, for his hard work in holding the corporation.

He also pledged to work assiduously in achieving the president’s growth aspirations for the oil and gas industry.

In addition to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications, the new NCC boss, Danbatta, holds a Doctoral degree in Electronic Engineering.

The new NCC CEO is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and has had a meritorious career, during which he rose to become a professor of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at Bayero University, Kano, specialising in Telecommunications Engineering and Information and Communications Technology.

Before his new appointment, Danbatta held top management and leadership positions at different times including Head of Department, Dean of Faculty, Director, Centre for Information Technology, Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (Kano Branch), Deputy Vice-Chancellor and acting Vice-Chancellor.

His appointment is for five years in the first instance.

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