By Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, OFR, FCIArb.
The announcement of Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as the new GMD, NNPC, signposts the real change President Buhari has been preaching.
Dr Kachikwu is a thorough bred, oil czar, and indeed a round peg in a round hole.
A first class graduate of law of the University of Nigeria, Nsuka, Enugu Campus, Dr Kachikwu also made a first class in the Nigerian Law School, carting home most of the prizes.
He thereafter did his Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Harvard University, coming top in the class.
The real change in Buhari’s appointment of Dr Kachikwu is that, unlike his predecessors who are usually Engineers, Dr Kachikwu is a Lawyer and a well respected technocrat, with an impeccable pedigree.
He has traversed the oil industry from Texaco Nigeria, as General Counsel upstream and downstream, to flame Oil Company, his personal Oil Firm, and then later, as General Counsel to Exxon-Mobil, for many years before he was promoted to the position of Executive Vice Chairman in charge of the entire continent of Africa.
Highly connected internationally, this multiple awards winner and publisher of numerous magazines and books is the author of three law books that deal with investment, corporate finance, contract, partnership and company law and several articles published in reputable Journals across the world.
As Executive Vice Chairman in charge of Africa, Dr Kachikwu was in charge of drafting compliance programmes, regulations and anti-corruption laws in Africa.
As one of the most respected top black men in Exxon-Mobil, Dr Kachikwu will no doubt bring to bear on his new appointment, his vast experience in the entire oil industry in all its ramifications.
No doubt, he has a gargantuan task in his hands in restructuring the NNPC, which is the cash cow of the Nigerian economy.
Kudos, PMB, for this right choice. Congrats, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.