How We Selected Over 1,000 New Recruits – NNPC


The Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC) says all its employment decisions as well as career progression by its staffers are based on laid down criteria in its statutes.

Citing the example of the recent graduate trainee employment process as well as top management promotion exercise, the corporation said professional competence, transparency, accountability, federal character were the primary considerations.


The NNPC spokesperson, Kennie Obateru, in a statement on Sunday, said other considerations including impeccable academic competence, logical thinking and ability to engage meaningfully in problem solving were key for those aspiring to become employees of the corporation.

To progress as a staffer in the management cadre, Mr Obateru listed professional competence, accountability and transparency as well as striving to achieve national spread in top management positions are critical and non-negotiable.

For newly recruited graduate trainees in the corporation, the NNPC spokesperson said the basic academic requirement was a second-class upper division for university graduates, or an upper credit for Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate holders.

In the alternative, he said a candidate with a second class lower division degree, or an HND lower credit diploma holder, must in addition acquire a master’s degree in the relevant field to qualify for employment.

In the last recruitment exercise, Mr Obateru said qualified applicants were in addition required to undertake computer-based tests conducted by an independent national examinations body.

Following the test, he said the best performers were further taken through a formal interview session to ensure their suitability.

“The end-product of the rigorous exercise was the new set of employees who have shown a lot of promise since the beginning of the onboarding programme which started earlier this month including engagements with the group managing director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, and some members of top management of the corporation,” Mr Obateru said.

About 1,050 graduate trainees were recently recruited by the NNPC. However, due to the disruptive impact of COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the declaration of a nationwide lockdown by the federal government, the new employees were only able to assume duties virtually on May 4, 2020.

Mr Obateru said the experiences of the long-time employees involved in the recent top management appointment executed in the first week of March this year were not different.

He said the affected officials were expected to show professional competence, adherence to the principle of transparency and accountability as well as federal character principles to progress.

Several of the top management staff involved in the promotion exercise, Mr Obateru noted, were moved to new positions while some were promoted based on their verifiable track records of performance.

He said some chief operating officers, group general managers and managing directors of NNPC subsidiaries were affected.

During the exercise, the erstwhile chief operating officer, upstream, Roland Ewubare, was re-deployed to the ventures and business development directorate as COO.

He took over from Adeyemi Adetunji, who was the chief operating officer in charge of downstream directorate.

A first-class mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Lagos, Mr Adeyemi started his over 30 years career as a maintenance engineer and later a project engineer in Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited (Unilever).

He later joined Accenture, a management consultancy firm, where he rose to become a Partner, providing advisory services on a wide range of subjects for over 20 years.

In January 2011, he joined NNPC as the general manager, transformation office – leading a team of NNPC and international consultants to implement NNPC’s earlier developed corporate vision and strategic plans.

Under the new arrangement, Mr Ewubare got an additional responsibility of business development, besides managing the group’s ventures.

Also, he said Mr Ewubare would bring his competence to bear in the task of laying the groundwork for the corporation to take up new business opportunities and challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 impasse period.

The new position would also see Mr Ewubare traversing Downstream, Midstream and Upstream sectors to develop new ventures.

Prior to his promotion as COO, upstream, Mr Ewubare was the group general manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) between August 2017 and July 2019.

He was also the managing director, Integrated Data Services Limited, an NNPC subsidiary, between August 2015 and August 2017.

Others affected in the management re-deployment included a physicist and renowned explorationist, Lawrencia Ndupu, to the downstream.

Ms Ndupu began her working career in NNPC in January 1986, spanning over 34 years.

Apart from being deputy manager geophysics at NAPIMS, and manager exploration, joint venture oil operations division, NAPIMS, she was also general manager operations, commercial & investment directorate of NNPC.

Ms Ndupu also managed NNPC Oilfield Services Limited, since March 2016 before her recent appointment as chief operating officer of the ventures directorate of NNPC which takes effect from 8th July, 2019.

Other appointments were those of Bala Wunti, the erstwhile managing director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company as the new GGM of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

With a chain of experience spanning close to 30 years, Mr Wunti was the initiator of ‘Operation White,’ a system put in place to promote transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country, and is generally adjudged a perfect fit for the job.

Described as a thoroughbred oil and gas industry professional, Mr Wunti is a graduate of chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, with an MBA in marketing from the Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi and a postgraduate diploma in management from the same university.

The list also included Lawal Sade as the new managing director of the NNPC Trading Company, a subsidiary of corporation.

Before then, he was the MD of NIDAS, a shipping arm of the NNPC. Mr Sade was a marketer in the last 20 years with impressive outcomes.

During his stint in NIDAS, he secured the admittance of NNPC into the prestigious Oil Company International Marine Forum membership, a globally recognized shipping community.

His ability to deliver on goals has gained NIDAS a lot of credibility whereby its employees, shareholders and counterparties now have faith in its capacity to grow.

The NNPC spokesperson said the appointments reflected the determination of an “NNPC leadership determined on ensuring placement of square pegs in square holes, while not losing sight of geographical spread, in respect of staffing.”