AfricaPress-Tanzania: The State Oil Company Chief Dr James Mataragio has been reinstated as Director-General for the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) just hours after he was fired from the post.

Dr Mataragio who was first appointed to the position in 2014 on merits of his undisputed contribution to the development of the country’s oil and natural gas sector got suspended two years later over alleged abuse of office.

He was reinstated in July 2019 by then-President John Magufuli after months of investigation against him and other top officials accused of violating procurement laws and infringing public service regulations in the conduct of their duties.

A statement from the Director of Presidential Communication said President Samia Suluhu Hassan had terminated the appointment of Thobias Mwesiga Richard and reinstated the geoscientist. It was not immediately clear what pushed the changes.

President Samia fired Dr Mataragio Sunday in her latest shake-up to the Ministries and Government entities, appointing Richard to head the TPDC. In a dramatic twist-early Monday, President Samia recalled her appointment insisting the new appointees will be sworn in Tuesday morning at a State House ceremony in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Mataragio holds a PhD in Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Structural Geology and Petroleum Geology from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in the USA. In 2008, he received his Master’s in Business Development (MBA) from Charlotte University in North Caroline, USA.

He was also awarded Masters of Science Degree in Geochemistry and Petrology from the University of Okinawa, Japan in 1997. Dr Mataragio attained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1994.

Before his appointment as Director-General for the state oil company, Dr Mataragio worked as Senior Geoscientist at Bell Geospace Inc, Houston, Texas, the USA since 2004.

He was an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Missouri between 2001 and 2004. Prior to that, he worked at the University of Dar es Salaam between 2000 and 2001 as Assistant Lecturer. Between 1994 and 1999 he worked as an exploration geologist for Anglo America Corporation and from 1999 to 2000 he was hired as Project Manager for Anglo Gold (Buzwagi).

The geologist has massive expertise in the mining, oil and gas industry. During his tenure at Bell Geospace, Dr Mataragio worked with large extractive industry corporations including Petrobas (Brazil), BP, Anadarko, Tullow, Pemex (Mexico), ANP (Brazil), Ecopetrol (Colombia), Petronas (Malaysia) and Vale Rio Doce.


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