NNPCL: NGO raises concern over Ararume’s reinstatement.
IDRIS AHMED, LOKOJA.
The court ruling reinstating Godwin Ararume as Non ex- Chairman of Nigeria National Petrleum Corporation Limited has generated a lot of concern among stakeholders.
The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks (CONCISON), has expressed serious concern over the recent court judgment that reinstated Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and set aside all decisions and resolutions of the board from 2022 till date.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court in Abuja Tuesday last week restored Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume as non Executive Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited NNPCL .
The Court while voiding the earlier sack of the business man also set aside his removal since January 17, 2023 by President Muhammadu Buhari on the ground that the action of the President was arbitrary, unlawful and illegal.
However, in a statement by Amb. Ibrahim A. Waiya, Chairman and Amb. Ibrahim Yusuf Secretary General, of the group said, while the group recognized the powers of the judiciary to adjudicate on matters bordering on the rule of law, it believed that this should be done with discretion and with a keen interest in defending the corporate persona and integrity of the country.
“While we find the court’s ruling rescinding the decision of the President to hire and fire an appointee an affront to the President’s constitutional powers, we however leave that for legal luminaries to unravel, however, we find it very worrisome that the further provisions of the ruling that set aside and render null and void all decisions and resolutions of the board since 2022.
” This has far-reaching implications for the corporation and, more importantly, for the nation and the image of the country.”the statement said.
It said as members of the civil society, CONCISON condemned in totality the ruling voiding decisions of the NNPCL board since January 2022 and urged the government to carefully consider the impact of this decision on the economy and take the necessary steps to ensure that the integrity of the nation is not compromised.
“We believe that the decision of the court should not be interpreted to mean that a change in leadership in a government-owned corporation would always result in the nullification of all decisions taken by the board since the new appointment.
Concison noted that the implications of this ruling include rendering contracts and agreements reached since January 2022 with corporations and partners, both local and international, null and void.
It maintained that this expose the corporation to potential breach of contract litigations with severe implications for the company and the wider economy.
It further stated that ” as a national oil company, the NNPCL is a key player in the Nigerian economy, and any disruptions to its operations could significantly affect the country’s GDP and overall economic stability.
“Foreign investors may also lose confidence in the NNPCL and other Nigerian corporations if they perceive that contract breaches are not taken seriously and that there is a lack of legal protection for businesses.
“This could lead to a reduction in foreign investment, which could, in turn, harm the country’s balance of trade, economic growth, and result in a significant waste of time and resources, as well as an increased risk of national embarrassment for the country.
” Again, the nation should not forget in a hurry the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) saga, wherein the nation had to cough out billions of naira to settle breach of contract case filed against the it.
“The Concison is committed to the promotion of good governance and the rule of law in Nigeria. We call on all stakeholders, including the executive, the judiciary, and the private sector, to work together to ensure that the interests of the nation and its citizens are protected at all times. We remain committed to working with all Stakeholders