The Group General Manager in charge of shipping at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Inuwa Waya, has announced his decision to voluntarily retire from the corporation in December this year.
Although the retirement of the top management staff is yet to be officially confirmed by the NNPC, multiple sources at the NNPC Towers in Abuja said on Friday that Waya has already tendered his letter to proceed on voluntary retirement from the services of the Corporation.
One of the sources who requested that his name should not be revealed, as he was not competent to speak on the matter, said following the submission of the letter of his voluntary retirement, Mr Waya has already commenced his mandatory three months pre-retirement vacation, which began on September 10.
The source said Waya personally broke the news of his decision to voluntarily exit the national oil company at a surprise birthday party organised in his honour by the staff of the Shipping Division of the corporation to mark his 58th birthday on Friday, September 10.
In a commemorative speech during the party, the source said Mr Waya informed the staff that after serving the Corporation for over 30 years, it was time for him to exit the door, by voluntarily retiring to pave the way for the younger generation to take over.
“For over 30 years, I have worked and diligently served the NNPC in various capacities. Over the period, I believe I did my best to contribute my little quota towards helping the organization realize the corporate goals and objectives.
“But I also believe every man and woman has his or her time and season for every of his or her activities,” Mr Waya was quoted to have told the staff at the birthday party. “There is a time to work; a time to play, and a time to stop work and take a deserved rest to focus on other personal dreams.
“I believe my time to stop public work has come, to give way to my season of rest, and to find the space to focus on the private practice of my law profession as a qualified lawyer. That is what I have done.”
Some of the staff members were said to have expressed surprise at Mr Waya’s unexpected announcement, considering that he still has two years in his career at NNPC to reach the mandatory official retirement age of 60 years.
However, the source said Mr Waya explained to the concerned staff that it was his conviction to leave the stage not only when the ovation was loudest, but more importantly to create the opportunity for the younger generation coming behind him to take over and continue from where he has stopped, to contribute their quota to the continued development of the company.
The notice of voluntary retirement he submitted to the NNPC on September 10, Mr Waya explained, was to take care of the mandatory three months pre-retirement notification, scheduled to expire on December 11, for his final disengagement from Service to take effect.
Since the news of Waya’s submission of his resignation letter filtered out to the rest of the NNPC staff, the source said there have been speculations about his plans for the immediate future.
Although Mr Waya was said to have confided in some of his immediate staff during the birthday party that he would be exploring the prospects of going into farming and private law practice, unconfirmed sources close to the Kano State-born lawyer hinted he might be joining politics with a view to joining the governorship race in his native Kano ahead of the 2023 elections.
When contacted Waya confirmed he was retiring. He, however, declined further comments, saying it is too early to speak about his post-NNPC plans.
Waya is a lawyer of many years standing. He began his public service career with the Kano State Ministry of Justice as state counsel in 1989. On August 26, 1991, Mr. Waya left the Kano State government to join the legal unit of the NNPC.
In his over 30 years of service to the NNPC, he served in various departments and capacities traversing several positions and offices.
Apart from serving as the Legal Officer in charge of Litigation, Property, Research and Corporate Law in the corporation, Mr Waya was also appointed the Technical Assistant to the Group General Manager, Legal Division, between 1998 and 1999.
In 1999, he was posted to Hyson Nigeria Limited, a joint venture between NNPC and Vitol S.A. as the Company Secretary and Legal Adviser.
Between 2009 and 2011, he served as the acting executive director, services, for Hyson Nigeria Limited before being redeployed to serve as the Senior Technical Assistant to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC between 2011 and 2014.
Waya was appointed General Manager of the Tenders, Contract Administration and Petroleum Upstream Department of the NNPC, and later Acting Corporation Secretary/Legal Adviser.
In August 2015, he was appointed Managing Director of Hyson Nigeria Limited and the President of Carlson Bermuda Limited, the offshore arm of the NNPC crude oil joint venture company.
In March 2016, Mr Waya was appointed Managing Director of NNPC Trading.