June 19, 2024

Nigerian Govt. revokes Roger Brown, Seplat CEO’s visa, residence, work permits over alleged racism

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government through the Federal Ministry of Interior, has revoked the work permit, Visa and residence permit of Mr. Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc, over allegations of racism, favouring of foreign workers and discrimination against Nigerian employees levelled against him by workers of the company.

The revocation order was contained in a letter signed by Mr Akinola Adesina, Director for Citizenship and Business in the Ministry of Interior, on behalf of the Minister Rauf Aregbesola, and dated, March 3, 2023, addressed to the Board Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc by the Minister of Internal Affairs.The Ministry in the letter also accused the Seplat’s CEO 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 Brown failed to honour invitations by the Ministry’s panel, which investigated the matter.The letter was entitled, “Withdrawal of Work Permit, CERPAC, Visa/Residence Permit of Mr. Roger Thompson Brown – CEO, SEPLAT Energy Plc”

It stated, “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.

It stated, “Consequently, the Ministry has withdrawn the Work Permit CERPAC, Visa, Residence Permit and all relevant documents that authorised Mr.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.EnergyDay further gathered that some concerned stakeholders, had also instituted a legal proceeding against Seplat at the Federal High Court Lagos, in respect of the letter of revocation.While the details of the court case was not available as at the time of filing this report, our correspondent gathered that the concerned workers are making efforts to get the management of Seplat to comply with the directive .

Chioma Nwachuku,
Director of External Affairs and Sustainability at Seplat Energy, was not available to respond to the allegations as of the period of filing this report.