BEVERLY HILLS, October 11, (THEWILL) – On a day when the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu; and the NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru, reached a common ground after their recent public spat, the leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the feud in the interest of the petroleum industry.
NUPENG, in a statement issued on Tuesday by its President, Igwe Achese and General Secretary, Joseph Ogbebor, expressed worry over the bad international image which the allegations raised by Kachikwu against the NNPC boss in a leaked memo to the President have given Nigeria.
It said, “Due process must be followed in the discharge of contractual agreements and those involving JVC agreements. We however, appreciate the steps taken so far in the JVC cash calls to the International Oil Companies, IOC, to stabilize the operations in the sector and the re-opening of moribund depots which have enhanced products delivery across the country, but that the current allegations must be addressed by the administration as one of its cardinal principle is the promotion of transparency and accountability.
“Our expectation is to see us as a hydrocarbon nation, stop importation of petroleum products and make our refineries work optimally so as to boast our foreign exchange earnings. Our NNPC 21 depots should be made to come back on stream and our pipelines secured with new trunk lines built across the country. We believe this can create economic stability and can only be achieved where the Minister of Petroleum, Mr. President, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and the GMD of NNPC are working in synergy.
“However, NUPENG reiterates that both Dr. Kachikwu and Dr. Baru have done well in re-positioning the oil and gas industry and the infighting will only retard the gains made so far.
“We call on President Muhammed Buhari to resolve the issues by moving in swiftly to address whatever is causing the ill-affection that has made them to work at cross-purposes in order not to jeopardize the reforms in the Oil and Gas industry.”
Meanwhile, Kachikwu and Baru on Tuesday met at a breakout session at the ongoing 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit, and harped on the need for the industry to have a minister who would not be very powerful as it was certain that no one would be a minister forever.
They further agreed that an industry regulator like the NNPC should be insulated from politics.