The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, says President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to him to work together with the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru to move the nation’s oil sector forward.
Kachikwu had accused Baru of insubordination and of awarding contracts to the tune $25 billion without the approval of the NNPC Board headed by the minister.
But denying the allegations, Baru argued that the laws and rules governing the NNPC do not require a review or discussion with the Minister of State, adding that there are no specific values attached to crude term contracts and direct purchases.
Penultimate Friday, the President met with Kachikwu over the issue, but the minister refused to speak with journalists at the end of the meeting that lasted a little over one hour.
But speaking in Owerri, Imo state, at the end of Nigerian content workshop organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, the minister said the president asked him to work together with the NNPC GMD to avoid “doubt and rift”.
He also said there is no fraud in the award of contracts by NNPC, stressing that his letter was not based on fraud but on governance.
According to the minister, “The conversation has been largely misunderstood to border on fraud. It was not on fraud, but on governance and suggestions on ways to go about it. I think a lot of people got it wrong.
“People dwell much on issues of sensationalism and leave the main substance. The group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, and I are working together as Mr. President had directed to move forward.
“Mr. President has urged the two of us to find ways of working together to remove doubt and rift.
“Mr. President is a decent man and what he wants to achieve in this country is to leave a legacy for posterity. He is a sincere leader, so nobody should accuse him of engaging in fraud.”
- Courtesy, The Will