Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and immediate past Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, says the state-run oil firm has become a different proposition under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The Minister said the perception of the firm by Nigerians as a corrupt enterprise, is fast giving way.
Kachikwu who was keynote speaker at a symposium organised by data outfit BudgIT on Thursday, September 15, 2016, said transparency processes have been put in place across the oil spectrum, since he first served as NNPC GMD in the current dispensation.
The minister also said the transparency processes enshrined by the Buhari administration have led to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) handing Nigeria the position of secretary of the oil cartel.
He added that under his watch, accountability and best practices will remain the watchwords for the Petroleum sector.
BudgIT, a civic organisation which applies technology and data to explain budgetary allocations and galvanize citizen engagement, was marking its 5th anniversary at the Metropolitan Club in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The theme of the symposium was Data as the Unit of Civic Engagement and Accountability.
Former Education Minister and leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, Obiageli Ezekwesili, also delivered a speech at the event.
Ezekwesili charged the young personnel at BudgIT not to rest on their oars until most of rural Nigeria can interpret and understand line allocations in appropriation documents.
She said BudgIT should realise it hasn’t even begun in its bid to effect change in the country, one infographic at a time.
Lead Partner at BudgIT, Oluseun Onigbinde, spoke of how his Mum couldn’t understand why he would leave his plum bank job to float a start-up, when he first made his intentions clear to the family over the phone.
Onigbinde asked for his Mum to join him on-stage in his closing remarks at the symposium, to rousing applause.
BudgIT has since become another name for making bloated budget figures simpler for everyone in Nigeria.
The organisation shot to prominence during the #OccupyNigeria fuel subsidy protests in 2012.
It has since interrogated executive and parliamentary budget allocations; sparking citizen engagement in the budgetary process.
Its expose of how much was appropriated to build a website for former Lagos Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, sparked outrage and more demands for accountability from public officers, across the country.