Senator Shehu Sani has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to relinquish the Petroleum minister portfolio and appoint someone else to manage the nation’s oil industry.
In a facebook post, Senator Sani representing Kaduna Central in the upper chamber of the National Assembly said President Buhari should disengage from being a petroleum minister.
”President Buhari should disengage from being a Petroleum Minister and appoint a substantive minister whom the nation can hold accountable to the happenings in the nation oil industry.
”The President position as a minister can drag him into issues in the oil sector of which he has limited time to attend to.
”A broom immersed in oil cannot sweep clean,” he posted.
Senator Sani’s advice is coming on the heels of a disturbing memo written to the president by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, where he complained of being humiliated by the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru.
Kachikwu revealed that his working relationship with Baru has been “fraught with humiliation, sidelining, and campaigns of character defamation against me”.
“This is particularly frustrating given the many contributions I have made to the growth and stability of the Nigerian oil and gas industry through the many policies I have introduced since August 2015.
“If NNPC is considered and known to be one of the parastatals under the ministry, why does the GMD refuse to report to my office or to the board on serious issues such as above, especially given that I have been by Your Grace, the minister with oversight responsibilities over these parastatals for two years?” Kachikwu queried.
The minister further alleged that when he called for meetings, Baru would send his subordinates without the courtesy of a call to explain his absence.
He said he had managed the bad perception created by Baru’s blatant insubordination and disrespectful attitude and had also worked hard to avoid being seen as petty and meddlesome.
The minister alleged that Baru has created a fear culture in NNPC, against the open administration he had introduced with the president’s support in their first year of pushing reforms.
“NNPC staff are afraid of contacting me to avoid being punished, sidelined in appointments and targeted. Indeed, the key factor for growth and advancement in NNPC of today is to avoid the Minister of State’s Office,” Kachikwu added.