20171005

Why I Wrote Buhari Over NNPC Boss Actions – Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has revealed the reason he decided to write a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari to complain about the activities of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru.

This comes after his critics argued that he should have made efforts to discuss the matters with Buhari one-on-one before writing a letter, knowing that such means is prone to leakage.

Revealing why he had to write to Buhari, Kachikwu said he tried to have a one-on-one appointment with the president at the State House but he was blocked.

I have been unable to secure an appointment to see you despite very many attempts” Kachikwu told Buhari in his disturbing letter.

The revelation has caused many to wonder why Kachikwu should be blocked from seeing his principal who appointed him to the post. In the letter dated August 30, 2017, Kachikwu complained bitterly about the recent massive changes at NNPC as the changes were never discussed with him and members of the board of the corporation.

“Indeed, in anticipation of vacancies that would arise from retiring senior executives of NNPC, I wrote the GMD (Baru) a letter requesting that we both have prior review of the proposed appointments. This was to enable me to present same to the board or give an anticipatory approval and then review with the board later.

“I wrote to the GMD, given previous happenstance of this nature. In addition, thereafter, I called the GMD to a private meeting where I discussed these issues. Needless to say that, not only did he not give my letter the courtesy of a reply, he proceeded to announce the appointments without consultation or board concurrence,”Kachikwu said.

Dr. Kachikwu added that Baru did not also consult the Board Services Committee, whose function it is to review potential appointments and terminations of senior staff prior to implementation.

The minister also alleged that Baru had sidelined the NNPC Board in the awards of contracts. He said the NNPC boss disobeyed the legal requirement which said that all contracts above $20 million should be reviewed and approved by the NNPC board.

“This is despite my diplomatic encouragement of Dr. Baru to do so to avoid wrongfully painting you as a president who does not allow due process to thrive in NNPC. Given the history of malpractices and the public perception of NNPC as having a history of non-transparency, the NNPC Tenders Board (NTB) cannot be the final clearance authority for contracts it enters into.

“The NTB, which is a collection of top-level NNPC executives and COOs, with the GMD as chairman, cannot continue to be the final approval authority for multi-million dollar contracts and transactions involving NNPC to the exclusion of the board.

“Board members have singularly and collectively raised these issues to no avail,” Kachikwu added.