Corporate governance: Seplat defends management structure

SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc has reacted to a newspaper publication alleging that the appointment of Mr Roger Brown negates the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.

In a statement published on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Seplat defended its organisational policies, noting that the company is a law-abiding corporate organisation that maintains the highest level of corporate governance standards.

It also explained that it had all rights to appoint Mr Roger Brown as the next CEO of SEPLAT, noting that the oil firm did not breach any law regarding local content or otherwise in Nigeria.

The  statement read: “SEPLAT is a law-abiding corporate citizen that maintains the highest level of corporate governance standards. Mr Roger Brown has been with the Company for six (6) years and has since his joining, served in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Company.

“All the activities of SEPLAT as a corporate citizen are in fulfilment of all applicable laws and we hereby state categorically that the decision to appoint Mr Roger Brown as the next CEO of SEPLAT is in full compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act and is not in breach of any applicable law in Nigeria.

“We, therefore, expressly refute all allegations in the Publication and hereby call on The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Public to disregard the publication in its entirety.

The statement is a response to a report published in the Guardian by a public affairs analyst, Aimhie Odin who questioned the board’s decision to allow a foreigner, Mr Roger Brown take over from an indigene, Austin Avuru, the outgoing Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the oil firm.

Odin argued that the act negates Section 30-36 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act and defeats the country’s Local Content (LC) policy. He explained that Roger’s appointment would result in a setback of the growth of the real income per capita, hamper job creation and restrict Seplat from developing local content.

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