Kachikwu, Baru Sheath Swords At Nigerian Economic Summit
The Minister of State For Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru exchanged pleasantries at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit to douse the tension in the industry.
The two had been at loggerheads in the last three weeks over a petition written by Kachikwu to President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging Baru of insubordination.
The petition also accused Baru of awarding contracts to the tune of $25 billion without recourse to the NNPC Tenders Board for approval.
However on Tuesday at the summit, Kachikwu spoke about the growth potentials of the country oil and gas sector as he called on stakeholders to embrace the vast opportunity in the sector.
However, Kachikwu called for a whittling down of the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, in favour of a stronger industry regulator.
“One thing I can say for sure is that whatever models of the Petroleum Industry Bill we are pushing, we need to begin to see an independent regulator with fairly enormous powers and with less of a political interface so that the individuals can do their work,” he explained.
To him, the power of the minister needs to be whittled down to allow the sector to run very well with any political interference.
He was of the opinion that no one remained as minister forever and if the corporation was allowed to have autonomy, it would be good for the oil industry.