The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Friday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja over his letter on allegations of insubordination by the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru.
According to a Thisday report, after his meeting with Buhari, which lasted for over one hour, Kachikwu kept mum and declined to entertain any question from journalists who had eagerly awaited his emergence from the meeting. He muttered “no comment” as he walked past the press gallery, accompanied by the president’s chief spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the president’s media aides were not part of the meeting.
Details of the three meetings are shrouded in secrecy.
Kachikwu’s meeting with the president was the fallout of his leaked letter to the President where he accused Baru of undermining his office. and brazenly flouting due process in the award of contract worth $25 billion without recourse to the Board of NNPC for input and review.
He said whereas he would have liked to discuss issues contained in the letter personally with the President, he was blocked by some unnamed persons in the Presidential Villa despite several attempts he made to see him.
In the letter, dated August 30, 2017, Kachikwu had alleged that Baru undermined his office by unilaterally making senior executive appointments without recourse to the Board of NNPC which he chairs as stipulated in the law governing the operations of NNPC.
In the letter, titled: “Re: Matters of insubordination and lack of adherence to due process perpetuated by the GMD NNPC, Dr. Baru,” and signed by the minister, Kachikwu said whereas appointments made by NNPC ought to be subjected to review by the board constituted by the president, members only got to read about the appointments on the pages of newspapers.
“Mr. President, yesterday, like many other Nigerians, l resumed work confronted by many publications of massive changes within NNPC. Like the previous reorganisations and repostings done since Dr. Baru resumed as GMD, I was never given the opportunity before the announcements to discuss these appointments. This is so despite being Minister of State, 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 at the Board learned of these appointments from the social media and the press release of NNPC,” he said in the letter.
Kachikwu who also accused the NNPC GMD of awarding contracts to the tune of $25 billion without observing due process, appealed to Buhari to promptly save NNPC from imminent collapse.
“That you save the office of the Minister of State from further humiliation and disrespect by compelling all parastatals to submit to oversight regulatory mandate and proper supervision which I am supposed to manage on your behalf.
“You kindly instruct the GMD to effectively leave NNPC to run as a proper institution and report along due process lines to the Board and that Your Excellency instructs that all reviews be done with the Minister of State prior to your decision.
“That to set the right examples, you approve that the recently announced reorganisation changes be suspended until the GMD, myself and the board have made relevant input to same. This will send a clear signal of process and transparency,” the letter read further.