President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Thomas John as acting alternate chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Governing Board.
The corporation disclosed this in a statement signed by Maikanti Baru, its outgoing group managing director, in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the statement, John, a former GMD of the corporation, will hold the position until a new minister of petroleum resources or minister of state for petroleum resources is appointed.
Ibe Kachikwu, the current minister of state for petroleum resources, was until John’s appointment, the chairman of the NNPC governing board.
The board is made up of nine members headed by the chairman and includes the GMD, the director-general of the ministry of finance and three persons appointed by the National Council of Ministers by virtue of their experience or specialised knowledge of the oil industry.
Mahmoud Isa Dutse, permanent secretary of the federal ministry of finance and Abba Kyari, Buhari’s chief of staff, are two of the board members.
The statement said John will “assume the Chairmanship or Alternate Chairmanship position, respectively in line with Sections 1(3) and 2(1) of the NNPC Act” and the appointment is “with immediate effect.”
According to the NNPC Act, the president is empowered to appoint an “Alternate Chairman who may, pursuant to any general or special delegation given in that behalf by the Minister exercise the powers conferred upon the Minister or Chairman…provided that nothing in the foregoing shall be construed as preventing the exercise by the Minister himself of any power so relegated.”
John, an indigene of Cross River state, is a 1968 graduate of Chemical Engineering from Prague Institute of Chemical Technology, Czech Republic.
A commonwealth research fellow, he holds a Ph.D degree in Reaction Kinetics from Queen’s University Canada and is also a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers.
He joined the NNPC in 1974 as a project engineer and spent 16 years supervising the design, engineering, construction and commissioning of the Warri and Kaduna refineries, as well as the three petrochemical plants in both states.
He rose through the ranks to become the first managing director of Eleme (Indorama) Petrochemical Company and was later appointed as NNPC GMD.
He voluntarily retired from the NNPC in 1992.
After his retirement, John served on the board of many companies including the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
He is the founder and chief executive officer of Hydropec Engineering Company Ltd.