OGDCL board recommends controversial candidates for MD’s post

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad: The board of directors of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (Ogdcl) formed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has recommended names of controversial candidates to appoint head of public sector oil and gas exploration company.

This move is contrary to the campaign launched by PTI government Prime Minister Imran Khan to bring transparency and merit in the public sector organizations and departments. The present government had delayed appointing heads of the public sector companies due to reconstituting board of directors to start a fresh process to appoint heads on merit. However, OGDCL board appears to jeopardize the plans of Prime Minister Imran Khan and following the practice of the previous board. PTI government believed that that previous boards were politically motivated.

OGDCL is the country’s largest oil and gas explorer with high portfolio of profits every year. Rather than going into fresh start as desired by PTI government, the new board of directors of the company has picked candidates selected by previous politically motivated board of OGDCL formed by PML-N government. OGDCL is only company which board picked candidates chosen by previous board. However, all other oil and gas company has started fresh process of hiring their heads by advertising posts.

Sources told that the board had recommended four names to Petroleum Division to appoint head of the OGDCL. Out of them, One is Shehryar Lodhi from the contractor companies and his name was also earlier recommended by previous board but could not be appointed. The present board formed by PTI government has also recommended this name for the post of MD who lacks experience of working in oil and gas exploration companies.

The other candidate recommended by present board is the name of Chief Financial Officer Irteza Ali Qureshi who is also currently working in Ogdcl. He was appointed by previous board and now present board had recommended him to appoint as managing director of Ogrdcl. Qureshi is facing investigation by National Accountability Board (NAB) and his name is among those officials of Ogdcl whose names had been recently placed on Exit Control List (ECL).The third candidate is Shahid Saleem who has experience of working in oil and gas exploration company. He is country manager of Kufpec.

The previous board had made four attempts to get appointed an official working in contracting companies but did not succeed. The current board also followed the same practice instead of starting the process afresh,” an official in the Petroleum Division said adding that that the hope that OGDC will get a professional MD has faded as the new board is lobbying for appointing a man from a contracting company.


Earlier, cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan had given a three-month deadline to the ministries and divisions, telling them to appoint permanent full-time heads of state departments, organisations and entities within the given time frame. The three-month deadline was set after cabinet members voiced deep concern over the practice of assigning additional charge of important positions including the head of department. Cabinet members argued, in a recent meeting, that part-time heads of department were not able to do justice to their assignments and all organisations must have full-time head, chief executive officer and chairman.

In October last year, the previous OGDC board of directors had made recommendations for appointing the new managing director of the company but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which came to power in August 2018, did not give the go-ahead. Rather, the government started the process of reconstituting the board for appointing the MD on merit.

The previous board recommended officials who were working in companies getting contracts from OGDC in October last year. This was against the criteria of appointing the managing director as the candidate for the post should be from an exploration company.

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