By Udeme Akpan
There are strong indications that Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Dr. Makanti Baru, would close ranks and work toward the development of the nation’s oil and gas industry this week.
This followed the meeting of the duo with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo last weekend.
Investigations by Vanguard showed that Kachikwu and Baru have concluded plans to review the issues and move on in the best interest of the oil and gas industry and the nation.
Contacted yesterday, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said he would get back to our correspondent but never did at press time.
However, other sources who preferred not to be named because they were not authorised to speak in both NNPC and the ministry said they looked forward to total reconciliation in the next few days.
Kachikwu had in a leaked letter to President Buhari, lamented: “I resumed work confronted by many publications of massive change within NNPC. Like the previous reorganisations and reposting done since Dr. Baru resumed as GMD, I was never given the opportunity before the announcements to discuss these appointments. This is so despite being Minister of State for Petroleum and Chairman NNPC Board.
‘’The Board of NNPC, which you appointed and which has met every month since its inauguration and, which by the statues of NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed. Members of the Board learned of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC.”
‘’At the minimum and like all other Parastatals being supervised by me at the Ministry have continued to do, and in compliance with the proper governance standards expected of a serious public institution, these executive actions by NNPC were supposed to benefit from mine and the Board’s input prior to presentation to you. I need to add that backdoor and present same to the acting president were met with a request that this be discussed with me. This was never done.
‘’Indeed, in anticipation of vacancies that would arise from retiring senior executives of NNPC, I wrote the GMD A letter requesting that we both have prior review of the proposed appointments. This was to enable me to present same to the Board or give an anticipatory approval and then review with the Board later (Appendix 1). I wrote to the GMD given previous happenstance of this nature, in addition, thereafter, I called the GMD to a private meeting where I discussed these issues. Needless to say that, not only did he not give my letter the courtesy of a reply, he proceeded to announce the appointments without consultation or Board concurrence.
‘’Mr. President please note that there is a Board Services Committee whose function is to review potential appointments and terminations of Senior Staff prior to implementation. This committee was also not consulted. The above is just one of the many occurrences of disrespectful experiences I have encountered with the GMD as your Minister of State.”