The drama at Seplat Energy Plc, one of the biggest independent oil exploration and production companies in Nigeria does not look like its coming to an end soon.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown has had his work permit revoked by the Federal Government on allegations of racism and discrimination against Nigerian employees of the firm.
The Minister of Internal Affairs sent a letter to the Board of Seplat on March 3, 2023 confirming the revocation of Brown’s work permit.
Roger Brown is British and was formerly the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the firm.
The Nigerian Government accused Brown of possessian ng Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) not based on a valid Expatriate Quota.
The Nigerian Government was said to have acted on a petition sent by the lawyer of workers and stakeholders of Seplat Energy Plc, who accused the CEO of racism, favoritism towards foreign workers and discriminating against Nigerian employees. The stakeholders had gone ahead to institute legal proceedings against Seplat in court.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs was said to have constituted an investigation panel which reviewed testimonies from workers while Roger Brown, declined on several occasions to attend proceedings.
Based on its findings, the Ministry revoked Mr Brown’s work permit through a letter signed by a director in the citizenship and Business Department, Akinola Adesina to the board of Seplat Energy Plc.
write to inform you that the Ministry is in receipt of a petition from the Solicitor to the concerned workers and stakeholders of Seplat Energy PLC accusing Mr. Rogers Thomson Brown, the CEO of the companies of various allegations.
“These accusations include racism, favoring foreign workers and discriminating against Nigerian employees. Testimony was received from several witnesses, which supported the allegations. Mr. Roger T. Brown declined to attend despite two invitations, claiming to be unavailable even though we learnt he was in Abuja for other purposes at the time.
This is an excerpt from the letter:
“Investigation and records in the Ministry also revealed that Mr. Roger Brown was in possession of CERPAC that was not based on validly issued Expatriate Quota approved by the Ministry of Interior resulting to the violation of relevant Immigration Laws and Regulations. As a result of these, the Honourable Minister has determined that Mr. Brown’s continued stay in Nigeria is contrary to national interest.
“Consequently, the Ministry has withdrawn the Work Permit CERPAC, Visa, Residence Permit and all relevant documents that authorized Mr. Roger Thomson Brown’s entry or stay in Nigeria.”
Recall that infighting in Seplat had earlier led to the ousting of its erstwhile Chairman, ABC Orjiakor and CEO, Austin Avuru.
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