In a recent development, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has initiated a compulsory early retirement program for all management staff members who have less than 15 months left until their statutory retirement.

The official statement, released by the company’s management on Monday, September 18, 2023, and shared via its official communication platform (formerly Twitter), indicated that the early retirement measure would take immediate effect starting Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

This decision was deemed necessary to facilitate an effective organizational renewal, aligning with NNPCL’s strategic business objectives. The company’s statement emphasized the importance of rejuvenating the workforce and ensuring equal opportunities for all Nigerians in support of their mission.

Previously, on September 17, 2023, NNPCL had announced the appointment of new Executive Vice Presidents to lead critical divisions within the organization. Oritsemeyiwa A. Eyesan was appointed as the Executive Vice President for the Upstream sector, Olalekan Ogunleye for Gas, Power, and New Energy, and Adedapo A. Segun for the Downstream sector.

This restructuring followed key recommendations from the Energy and Natural Resources sub-committee of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Advisory Council in June 2023. The sub-committee aimed to bring about essential reforms in the energy sector, with a strong focus on identifying capable, experienced, and reform-oriented leaders within NNPCL. Their objective was to ensure that the company operates as a commercial entity in compliance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), contributing taxes and profits to the Federation Account.

In addition to executive appointments, the sub-committee underscored the urgency of repositioning NNPCL by divesting it of policymaking responsibilities and advocating for the strategic sale of specific assets.

These comprehensive recommendations reflect a determined effort to strengthen NNPCL, align it with statutory mandates, and transform it into a more efficient and profit-oriented entity.

The sub-committee also proposed a substantial generation of $17.4 billion in funds, primarily through well-structured NNPCL sell-downs. This involved strategically reducing interests in joint ventures to a minority position, eliminating the traditional cash call system, and fostering financial efficiency and sustainability.

Furthermore, the committee recommended a prudent divestment of interests in refineries while promoting the development of a robust Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) operating model. These strategies are designed to realign NNPCL’s financial structure, injecting agility and greater profitability.

The injection of $17.4 billion represents a significant financial boost that has the potential to steer NNPCL toward a more profitable and resilient future.

Notably, in July of the previous year, the national oil firm transitioned into a fully commercial entity, becoming the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited. This transition subjected the company to regulation under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020.

As part of these changes, the Group Chief Finance Officer assumed additional responsibilities, including ensuring liquidity and efficient capital allocation based on returns and business relations.

Additionally, the federal government ceased all forms of funding for projects and purposes related to the company, marking a significant shift from the financial support previously provided during the 45 years of NNPC’s existence before its transformation into a limited liability company.

NNPCL has since operated as a limited company, led by a Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and a team of Executive Vice Presidents.