Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc, has had his work permit, visa, and residency permission cancelled by the Minister of Interior.
The minister’s hammer fell on Brown after claims of racism, favoring foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees were leveled against him by corporate employees.
According to our source, Brown was also charged by the Federal Government of having a Combination Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) that was not based on a legitimate Expatriate Quota.
It was also claimed that the CEO ignored invitations from the Ministry’s team, which was investigating the problem.
As of the time of reporting this story, phone calls to Chioma Nwachuku, Director External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc, had not been answered.
Roger, a British national, joined Seplat in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was named the company’s new CEO in November 2019, but effectively took over in 2020.
The revocation was contained in a March 3, 2023 letter from the Minister of Internal Affairs to the Board Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, 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 regard.
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.