SEPLAT Defends Appointment of new CEO,Says It Complies with Laws
A leading oil firm in Nigeria,Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC (“SEPLAT”) has defended its appointment of Mr Roger Brown as the new CEO,affirming that it dis not in anyway breached the local content act.
In a statement signed by Chioma Nwachuku, its General Manager ,External Affairs and Communications,Seplat affirmed 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”
The full statement by the company reads as follows:
“The Company’s attention has been directed to the recent publication by the Guardian newspaper of 28thNovember 2019 (the Publication) alleging that the appointment of Mr. Roger Brown negates the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 (theNigerian Content Development Act).
“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 Public to disregard the Publication in its entirety.
“This announcement is being made by the Company in accordance with Rule 17.10, Rulebook of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, 2015 (Issuers’ Rule)”, the statement concluded
SEPLAT had on November 18 announced that her pioneer Managing Director and later CEO, Mr. Austin Avuru will be retiring in July 2020 after 10 years of leading the company.
In a statement,the oil firm noted that “,n these 10 years, Mr. Avuru led the development of a strong organization, the deployment of agile systems, processes and stakeholder relationships that allowed the organization to grow rapidly from a gross production of 22,700boepd as at December 2010 to peaks of 111,368boepd gross production as at December 2018 through major drilling campaigns and major new Oil and Gas plants development.
“The acquisition of 45% of OML 53, post Company’s IPO of 2014, created an opportunity in partnership with NNPC, to spawn a mid-stream subsidiary, ANOH Gas Processing Company Ltd currently progressing what will ultimately be a 300MMscf/d of Gas, 22,500bdp of condensate and 1,200boepd of LPG processing Company. All these could not have been achieved without Mr. Avuru’s leadership skills, personal dedication and hard work, at the head of the Company.
“The Board of SEPLAT is grateful to Mr. Avuru for these accomplishments and is looking forward to his continued service at the Board level.
“Looking forward, Seplat plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies. The Company believes that such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organizational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space. In view of this, Seplat will be reviewing its current organizational and systems structure.
“To lead the Company in her latest aspirations, the Board has selected Mr. Roger Brown as the successor to Mr. Avuru as CEO, when Mr. Avuru steps down on 31 July 2020. The Board also decided that the CEO designate will lead the restructuring during the Transition period between now and final exit date of Mr. Avuru on 31 July 2020.
“Mr. Brown joined SEPLAT in 2013 as the CFO and played a key role in the successful dual listing of the Company in 2014. Similarly, since joining the Company, he has played significant roles in various asset acquisitions by the Company.
“Mr. Brown brings to the CEO role, a deep knowledge of the Company in his 6 years as the CFO and a member of the Board. He has strong financial, commercial and M&A experience as well as proven people skills which will be an asset as the Company embarks on the next phase of its growth plan.
“Prior to joining SEPLAT, Mr. Brown was an advisor to the Company since 2010 while he was the Managing Director and head of EMEA Oil and Gas at Standard Bank Group. During his time at the bank, he was instrumental in providing advice and deploying capital across the African continent in the Oil & Gas, Power & Infrastructure and the renewable energy sectors.
“While we thank Mr. Avuru for a meritorious service, we welcome Mr. Brown and wish him every success in his upcoming new role”,the statement noted”,the statement by Chioma Nwachuku, its General Manager ,External Affairs and Communications and
Mrs. Edith Onwuchekwa,its Company Secretary noted.