By Yemie Adeoye
FOLLOWING the successful screening of ministerial nominees by the National Assembly, Association of Petroleum Industry Professionals, APIP, has called on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint a knowledgeable industry professionals to lead Petroleum Ministry.
The association which comprises engineers and geologists already employed in the industry said in a statement that only core professionals with vast industry experience would be suitable to lead the current reforms in oil and gas sector of the economy.
APIP said the petroleum industry was at critical reforms that entail changes in institutional roles, fiscal regimes and policy mutation, arguing that only an industry icon would be assigned to function of and drive the transition to the desired destination.
The association had expressed concern over media reports which revealed that former Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, a lawyer and the former Minister of Steel, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, an architect, were canvassing the Petroleum Ministry against Engr. Chris Ogeimwonyi, a geologist and petroleum engineer.
According to APIP, it is also high time government started the process again of putting square pegs in square holes.
A major maritime operator who does not want his name in print told Vanguard that the past administration placed square pegs like Ngozi Iweala, Dora Akunyili, Nasir el-Rufai in square holes and the result is there for all to see, even if Nigerians might not agree with all ofÂ their actions.
The release which was signed by the General Secretary of APIP, Mr. Prieye Ebiye,Â said the reported scramble for the Petroleum Ministry by some nominees that had no industry background was diversionary and intended to politicize the job.
â€œOf the three possible candidates for the petroleum portfolio, it was gathered that only Engr. Chris Ogeimwonyi is well versed and experienced in Nigerian oil and gas activities, having run a successful career that took him to the highly challenging position of Group Executive Director, GED, Exploration and Production, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC,” the group said.