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Racism: FG revokes Seplat CEO, Roger Brown’s visa, residence, work permits

The Federal Government equally accused Mr. Brown of being in possession of a Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) not based on a valid Expatriate Quota. It was also alleged that Mr Brown failed to honour invitations by the Ministry’s panel, which investigated the matter.

The revocation was contained in a March 3, 2023 letter to the Board Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc by the Honourable Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola, reportedly identified by pressmen at the Federal High Court Lagos Wednesday, where some concerned stakeholders have instituted a legal proceeding against Seplat in this respect.

Part of the contents of the letter entitled, “Withdrawal of Work Permit, CERPAC, Visa/Residence Permit of Mr. Roger Thompson Brown – CEO, SEPLAT Energy PLC”, read:

“I 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, favouring 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.

“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“Consequently, the Ministry has withdrawn the Work Permit CERPAC, Visa, Residence Permit and all relevant documents that authorised Mr. Roger Thomson Brown’s entry or stay in Nigeria”, the letter stated.

Roger, a British, joined Seplat on 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was selected the company’s new CEO in November 2019, but effectively assumed the office in 2020.

The outcome of the court case is still being awaited as at the time of filing this report.

This is coming a few days after Mr Brown had eulogized the performance of the company in its FY 2022 report where he said

“I am delighted that our strong financial performance will enable the payment of a US7.5 cent final dividend, despite the
significantly disrupted production we experienced in the second half of the year. The full-year dividend of US15 cents represents a dividend yield of around 11% at the current LSE share price.

“As we enter 2023, the business is in a very healthy state, with new wells coming onstream, encouraging appraisal drilling
underway at Sibiri, and alternative export routes ensuring good export performance in January and February this year.

“Our gas business continues to develop, with first gas expected from ANOH in Q4 this year, and we are now in the process of
separating our Midstream Gas business from the Upstream unit to unlock new value for shareholders.”

First Bank

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