TPDC boss ouster after CAG report ‘a mystery’

CONFLICTING reports are surfacing that the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Director General, Dr James Mataragio, has been suspended by the parastatal’s Board of Directors effective Wednesday.

Impeccable sources within the oil and gas exploration authority said Mr Mataragio has thus fallen among the high ranking casualties of last year's derogatory audit report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).

However, as of yesterday, there has not been any official statement from TPDC regarding the new development. But insiders suggested the performance audit on the management of process of awarding exploration and development contracts and licences for natural gas released by the CAG, Professor Mussa Juma Assad, in March this year, would have cost the renowned geoscientist dearly. "The organisation is not safe now. He (DG) was given a suspension letter yesterday (Wednesday) and it is because of the audit report ... the letter came from the board chairman not the minister," sources closer to the TPDC told the ‘Daily News’, preferring anonymity. 

The audit centred on reviewing how oil and gas exploration contracts were awarded between 2010/11 and 2013/14 revealing serious inefficient management of the contracting and licensing process. It also found there are no adequate controls in place to ensure that procurement in the sector complies with the relevant legislations. 

Observers rushed to challenge the decision as saying Mr Mataragio was not in office since he was appointed into the post in December 2014. Ministry of Energy and Minerals Permanent Secretary (PS) Professor Justin Ntalikwa told this newspaper that he was aware of the news in circulation but declined further comment. "I am aware of the news but it would be better if you seek clarification from our board chairman. 

He might give you all the details you want since the decision also came from the board," he told the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview. TPDC Chairman Professor Sufiani Bukurura could not be reached by phone yesterday. On his part, Mr Mataragio told the ‘Daily News’ that he was unaware of the new decision, adding; "it happens that you are just giving me this information." Dr Mataragio is among the few experts in minerals, oil and natural gas in the Diaspora who volunteered to offer free advice to the government on development of the sector. 

He holds a PhD (Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Structural Geology and Petroleum Geology), from Missouri - Rolla University, Missouri, US (2005); Masters in Business Development (MBA), from Charlotte University, North Caroline, US (2008); MSc (Geochemistry and Petrology), from Okinawa University, Japan (1997); and BSc (Hons) (Geology), University of Dar es Salaam (1994). Prior to the post, Dr Mataragio was Senior Geoscientist with Bell Geospace Inc, Houston, Texas, US where he started working with the firm in 2004. 

Among major international Gas and Oil firms he worked with while employed by Bell Geospace include Petrobras (Brazil); BP; Anadarko; Tullow; Pemex (Mexico); ANP (Brazil), Ecopetrol (Colombia); Petronas (Malaysia) and Vale Rio Doce.

TPDC boss ouster after CAG report ‘a mystery’ TPDC boss ouster after CAG report ‘a mystery’ Reviewed by on 9:51:00 PM Rating: 5

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