20171009

Kachikwu, Baru Should Be Suspended, Senate Panel Chair

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) Senator Tayo Alasoadura, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately suspend the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and Group Managing Director the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.

The Senator specifically stated that Baru’s continued presence at the NNPC could jeopardise the Senate investigation into the allegations that he allegedly approved contracts to the tune of $25bn without the approval of the corporation’s board.

The senator said this during a live programme on Channels Television.

When asked if they should be suspended, Alasoadura said, “I believe so; especially the man who is doing the day-to-day running of the organisation. In order not to hinder or hamper that investigation, because records will be needed and even from the date of the leakage of that letter, I think action should have been taken to ensure that nothing will be missing when investigations start

“So, I think the two of them should be asked to step aside and when investigation is over, whoever is culpable will go and whoever is not culpable, will continue with his duties.”

The senator said one of the causes of the problem was the fact that Pres. Buhari doubled as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Describing the arrangement as faulty, Senator Alasoadura said Buhari should step down and appoint a substantive minister who would be able to do the job more effectively.

Meanwhile, the firms to be invited by the Senate for investigation include Oando, Sahara Energy, MRS Oil and Gas, AA Rano, Bono, Masters Energy, Eterna Oil and Gas, Cassiva Energy, Hyde Energy, Brittania U, North West Petroleum, Optima Energy, AMG Petroenergy, Arkiren Oil and Gas Limited and Shoreline Limited.

Others are Entourage Oil, Setana Energy and Prudent Energy, Trafigura, Enoc Trading, BP Trading, Total Trading, UCL Petro Energy, Mocho, Tevier Petroleum, Heritage Oil, Levene Energy, Litasco Supply and Trading, Glencore, Hindustan Refinery, Varo Energy, Sonara Refinery, Bharat Petroleum and Cepsa.

The companies are listed on the NNPC website as benefiting from crude term contracts.

In a related development, OurMumuDonDo group, led by Charly Boy, said it would meet on Tuesday to conclude on how to stage protests over the $25bn contracts allegedly awarded without due process.