President Muhammadu appointed Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as Minister of State for Petroleum on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 alongside 35 others. The President deliberately excluded the Minister of Petroleum as he personally wanted to oversea the affairs of the ministry.
Within this period, Kachikwu reported directly to the president. This and the inability of President Buhari to set up a governing board was largely responsible for the slow decision making in oil and gas sector.
Few weeks after Kachikwu’s appointment, Nigeria witnessed prolonged fuel scarcity across all states in the country. A situation which led to long queues at fuel stations with most Nigerians spending long period of time (or days in some cases).
Activities of militants (notably the Niger Delta Avengers) in the oil-rich Niger Delta region was also another major challenge Kachikwu had to grapple. The minister embarked on a trip to Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State, on Thursday, June 16, 2016 to meet with representatives of the Niger Delta Avengers. The group however denied meeting with Kachikwu.
Most Nigerians had advocated the re-organisation of the petroleum ministry to solve the problems in the oil sector.
For these people, the decision of the Presidency to appoint Dr Maikanti Kacalla Baru as the new Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not come to them as a shock.
The move has however been generating reactions among Nigerians. While some see it as a step in the right direction, others see it as another selective appointment in favour of Northern Nigeria which they say is contrary to the Federal Character Principle.
Until his appointment, Baru was Special Adviser (Upstream) to the Minister of State for Petroleum.
While most people are concerned about his tribe, others have been asking a bigger question which is; “Will he deliver on this task?” Well, only time alone will tell.
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