They are hardly ever in the news except for occasional news mentions about their corporation’s activities. They are no social butterflies either. In fact, you can never find them in the company of newspaper billionaires, those with more hype than substance, at brassy balls or swanky rendezvous, not because they don’t know the de rigueur of lavish lifestyles but because they wield too much influence and possess so much wealth that mere mortals look otherworldly to them.
Pray, let it be known that these money men are ‘mere’government appointees whose wealth would make even Mark Zuckerberg consider a career detour or prompt nationality change. One of them is the bespectacled Dafe Sejebor, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, the corporate services unit of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation. Established with the mandate to manage the Nigerian government’s investments in the upstream sector, maximize return on its investments using best industry practices, NAPIMS also engages in direct exploration of the frontier basins in order to open it for investors while also supervising the mechanism of funding the Joint Venture Operations through the Cash-Call Process.
Needless to say, NAPIMS is a very valuable component in the Nigerian revenue chain. This is the corporation Sejebor, a 1981 Geology graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, sits atop. Enviably cerebral and brilliant, Sejebor, who also has a bachelor’s degree in law and MBA from the University of Benin, joined the NNPC in 1982 as a research geologist in the corporation’s Port Harcourt office. Prior to his appointment as NAPIMS boss, he had criss-crossed almost the entire gamut of the upstream sector in high profile capacities.
Wealth is hard to conceal or contain; it intoxicates. Sejebor knows. His self-deprecating outlook regardless, he once went on a spending spree buying up luxury properties in Texas and other American cities and gifted himself a gleaming Bentley. It was not much later that he was invited by the House of Representatives to defend himself over an alleged illegal award of a contract worth a staggering $260million. Not much has been heard of the outcome of the probe, which underscores reports that he is very close to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Following the NNPC’s conclusion of investigations into the sale, without appropriate authorization, of 82million litres of petrol valued at N11 billion by Capital Oil and Gas, which led to the sack of the former MD, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue among other top directors, Adeyemi Adetunji was appointed in April as the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Ltd. But Adetunji is not new to the workings of the oil sector. Until his appointment, he was General Manager, Strategy & Planning, Gas & Power and also former General Manager, Transformation Office.
Founded in 2002, the NNPC Retail Ltd is a subsidiary of the NNPC which markets petroleum products, builds, owns, and operates petroleum fuel stations across Nigeria. The NNPC Retail has a mission to establish and profitably operate model retail outlets with efficient service delivery of petroleum and allied products to customers in an environmentally friendly manner. It currently operates 37 Mega Stations, 12 Floating Mega Stations and over 500 affiliate Stations. It is a major cash cow and for Adetunji, his appointment has opened him up to this bottomless treasure trove.
During his stint as Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum, unbundled the NNPC into business and two service components. One of the new appointments then was that of Anibor Kragho as chief operating officer, Refineries. Kragho was formerly the group general manager, Treasury, for the corporation. Like Kragho, Henry Ikem Obih, was appointed chief operating officer, downstream operations, in the NNPC. Obih, who received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1986 and MBA from the Management Centre University of Bradford UK in 1993, served as an Executive Director of Operations at Mobil Oil Nigeria plc since July 2008 until his appointment.
Like accustomed conquistadors, this quartet, feared by oil and gas businessmen, and respected by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, dictates the pace in the upstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry. And they have made wondrously good in the process.