Sunday, July 14, 2024

RACISM: FG Revokes Seplat CEO’s Work Permit Visa

The work permit visa, and residence permit of granted to Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc of Seplat Energy Plc has been revoked by the Minister of Interior.

BusinessDay reports that the minister’s hammer fell on Brown over allegations of racism, favouring of foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees levelled against him by employees of the company.

Insiders say Brown was also accused by the Federal Government 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 the CEO failed to honour invitations by the Ministry’s panel, which investigated the matter.

Phones calls to Chioma Nwachuku, Director External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc did not go through as at the time of filing this report.

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 revocation was contained in a March 3, 2023 letter to the Board Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc by the Minister of Internal Affairs, which was sighted by our reporter at the Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday, where some concerned stakeholders have instituted a legal proceeding against Seplat in this respect.

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

The letter entitled “Withdrawal of Work Permit, CERPAC, Visa/Residence Permit of Mr. Roger Thompson Brown – CEO, SEPLAT Energy Plc” was signed by Akinola M. Adesina, director 2, citizenship and business for honorable minister, addressed to the chairman board of directors of SEPLAT.

“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.


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