Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum Ibe Kachikwu said the leakage of a confidential memo to President Muhammadu Buhari is ‘distressing’.
“It is most distressing that a confidential communication to the President on the performance of one of its parastatals can be made public,” said Idang Alibi, director of press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in a statement.
Kachikwu, in a memo dated August 30, 2017, which became public on Tuesday, alleged that the slow growth in the oil and gas sector to illegal practices by the departments and agencies under his ministry, especially the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headed by the Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru.
He accused Baru of sidelining him in postings and appointments done by the NNPC.
“Mr President, yesterday like many other Nigerians, I resumed work to be confronted by many publications of massive changes within NNPC,” KAchikwu said in the letter.
“Like the previous reorganisations, and reposting done since Baru resumed as GMD, I was never given the opportunity before the announcement to discuss these appointments. This is so despite being Minister of State for Petroleum, and Chairman, NNPC Board.
“The board of NNPC, which you appointed, and which has met every month since its inauguration and, which by the statutes of NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed. Members of the board learnt of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC.”
Sending, such a memo to the President, Alibi, said, is “a normal procedural correspondence by Minister to the President relating to developments in parastatals he supervises.”
He said the focus of the communication was on improving efficiency and deepening transparency in the oil and gas sector for continued investor confidence.