* NNPC under fire for alleged corruption
* Ex-Central bank governor highlighted $20 bln 'missing'
* New chief from war-ravaged northeastern Borno state
(Adds presidency source on reason)
By Felix Onuah
ABUJA, Aug 2 Nigeria's President Goodluck
Jonathan has replaced the top four executives at Nigeria
National Petroleum Corporation, his office said on Saturday,
intervening in one of the country's most powerful institutions
and the source of 80 percent of government revenues.
Joseph Thlama Dawha replaces Andrew Yakubu as NNPC group
managing director. Reuben Abati, a spokesman for Goodluck
Jonathan's office, declined to give further details.
A senior presidency source, who declined to be named, said
it was because Jonathan was unimpressed with Yakubu's handling
of a parliamentary inquiry on oil corruption that was conducted
Yakubu was not immediately available for comment.
Numerous reports and audits have accused NNPC of corruption
and in February then central bank governor Lamido Sanusi
submitted evidence to parliament that the company had failed to
remit some $20 billion it owed.
The NNPC denied the charges, but the evidence it gave to
explain away the missing money was derided by critics.
Jonathan has come under intense pressure to clean up
Africa's biggest energy sector after a public outcry over
corruption and waste of the country's vast energy wealth.
There was similar pressure at the time of the previous NNPC
management change in June 2012.
Appointments to powerful positions in a Nigerian election
cycle - presidential polls are six months away - are also often
linked to shoring up patronage networks.
Dawha is a Christian from Biu, an area in the largely Muslim
northeastern Borno state which is currently being ravaged by an
Islamist Boko Haram insurgency that has heavily targeted
He previously held another executive role within the
Anthony Muoneke, a career lawyer, will take up management of
the firm's development arm, the NPDC. Aisha Mata Abdurrahman is
the new group executive director of commercial and investment
and Attahir Yusuf is the new group executive director of
Oil industry sources say regardless of who runs NNPC, major
decisions are made by Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.
In addition to suspected corruption, Nigeria's oil sector
suffers from oil theft in the creeks of the Niger Delta where
tens of thousands of barrels are siphoned off each day.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Tim Cocks; editing by
John Stonestreet and Jason Neely)