Kachikwu Writes Buhari to Save NNPC from Collapse Under Baru

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, informing him of the rot in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), under the leadership of Mr Maikanti Baru.

The Minister said Mr Baru, who is the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the state-owned oil firm, has been running the agency without consulting with the board, which he (Mr Kachikwu) chairs.

In fact, the Minister said the attitude of the NNPC GMD is creating “a fear culture in NNPC.”

According to TheCable, the letter said, “Like the previous reorganisations and repostings done since Mr Baru resumed as GMD, I was never given the opportunity before the announcements to discuss these appointments. This is so despite being the minister of state petroleum and chairman, NNPC board.”

In August 2015, President Buhari appointed Mr Kachikwu as NNPC GMD, but barely a year later, precisely in July 2016, the President replaced Mr Kachikwu with Mr Baru.

In the letter, the Minister lamented to the President that, “The board of NNPC which you appointed and which has met every month since its inauguration, and which by the NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed. Members of the board learnt of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC.

“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. Not only did he not give my letter the courtesy of a reply, he proceeded to announce the appointments without consultation on board concurrence.

“Mr President, please note that there is a board service committee whose function is to review potential appointment and termination of senior staff prior to implementation. This committee was also not consulted.

“The open administration I introduced with your support in our year of pushing reforms, has been completely eroded. NNPC members of staff are afraid of contacting me for the fear of being punished, sidelined in appointments and targeted.

“The effect of the attitude of the GMD and the sidelining of the board is that there is a fear culture in NNPC.”

“That you save the office of the minister of state from further humiliation and disrespect by compelling all parastatals to submit to oversight regulatory mandate and proper supervision which I am supposed to manage on your behalf.

“That you kindly instruct the GMD to effectively leave the NNPC to run as a proper institution and report out along due process lines to the board and that your excellency instructs that all reviews be done with the minister of state prior to your decision.

“That to set right examples, you approve that the recently announced reorganisation changes be suspended until the GMD, myself and the board have made relevant input to same. This will send a clear signal of process and transparency.

“That your excellency encourages joint presentation meeting between head of parastatals and the minister of state to you as to encourage a culture of working together and implant discipline in the hierarchy,” the Minister said further.

However, when contacted on the matter, spokesman of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, declined commenting on the issue.

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