THE global notoriety of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for producing more scandals than barrels of crude oil reverberated yet again with the leakage of a damning memo from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari. Detailing improper award of contracts, unauthorised spending, sidelining of the board which he heads and lack of access to his principal, the memo is a ringing indictment of the current government and its inability to break from the disorderliness of the past in running public affairs.
Buhari should take full charge, strengthen institutions and end the tyranny of cronyism and impunity blighting his government. There should be a thorough, independent and timely investigation into the crisis.
The goings-on in the NNPC are grim. The memo, dated August 30, listed a litany of bad behaviour by Maikanti Baru, the man Buhari appointed in July 2016 as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC to succeed Kachikwu who had combined the post with his ministerial portfolio. Apart from “undermining his office”, Kachikwu said since his appointment, Baru had sidelined him as minister and the NNPC board chairman by taking unilateral decisions that, he alleged, were “hindering all the envisaged positive changes for the oil and gas sector”.