Dr Ibe Kachikwu's letter to President Buhari has been a huge source of controversy among Nigerians.
However, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has expressed displeasure over the leakage to the public a memo he sent to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kachikwu in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, October 3, by Idang Alibi, director, press relations in the ministry, regretted that a confidential matter on the performance of one of its parastatals was made public.
Below are some facts Nigerians learned from the letter:
1. New appointments
Kachikwu said: "Mr President, yesterday like many other Nigerians. I resumed work confronted by many publications of massive changes within NNPC. Like the previous reorganizations and reposting 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 of 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 statues of NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed.
"Members of the Board learned of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC."
2. Disrespect from Baru
Dr Kachikwu also said: "At the minimum and like all other Parastatals being supervised by me at the Ministry have continued to do, and in compliance with the proper governance standards expected of a serious public institution, these executive actions by NNPC were supposed to benefit from mine and the Board’s input prior to presentation to you.
"I need to add that backdoor and present same to the acting president were met with a request that this be discussed with me. This was never done.
"Indeed, in anticipation of vacancies that would arise from retiring senior executives of NNPC, I wrote the GMD A letter requesting that we both have prior review of the proposed appointments.
"This was to enable me to present same to the Board or give an anticipatory approval and then review with the Board later (Appendix 1).
"I wrote to the GMD given previous happenstance of this nature, in addition, thereafter, I called the GMD to a private meeting where I discussed these issues.
"Needless to say that, not only did he not give my letter the courtesy of a reply, he proceeded to announce the appointments without consultation or Board concurrence.
"Mr President please not that there is a Board Services Committee whose function is to review potential appointments and terminations of Senior Staff prior to implementation. This committee was also not consulted.
"The above is just one of the many occurrences of disrespectful experiences I have encountered with the GMD as your Minister of State."
Speaking on the indiscriminate giving of contracts, he said: "The legal and procedural requirements are that all contracts above $20m would need to be reviewed and approved by the Board of NNPC.
"Mr President over one year of Dr Baru’s tenure, no contract has been run through the Board. This is despite my diplomatic encouragement to Dr Baru to do so to avoid wrongfully painting you as a President who does not allow due process to thrive in the NNPC.
"The following major contracts were never reviewed by or discussed with me Board of NNPC:
The Crude Term contracts- value at over $10bn
The DSDP contracts- value over $5bn
The AKK pipeline contract- value approximately $3bn
Various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs – value over $3bn
Various NPDC production service contracts – value at over $3bn--$4bn"
He also said his relationship with the GMD was quite strained. "Your Excellency, even though the appointments of the other parastatals heads in my ministry were made without my input. I have maintained a cordial and respectful relationship with all.
"Parastatals under my supervision have continued to excel in their respective areas and adhere to mandatory governance processes. However, my working relationship with GMDs has been fraught with humiliation, sidelining and campaigns of character defamation against me.
"This is particularly frustrating given many contributions I have made to the growth and stability of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry through the many policies I have introduced August 2015.
"If NNPC is considered and known to be one of the Parastatals under the Ministry, why does the GMD refuse to report into my office or to the Board on the serious issues such as above especially given that I have been by your grace, the minister overseeing these parastatals for two years?" he said.
He also accused Baru of not attending meetings.
He said: "The matter of collaborative meeting is another issue altogether. When I call for meetings, the GMD chooses which meetings he wishes to attend and those he chooses to send subordinate.
"He sends such subordinates without the courtesy of a call to explain his absence. The unattended meetings are in the majority. In all of 2017, I have been able only to get him to have one on one meetings with me about four to five times.
"At inception, I instituted a monthly parastatals review meeting with head of agencies and another with the all the senior management in all the parastatals.
"GMD objected to his senior staff coming to the joint senior management meetings. He argued that this was overreaching his territory. He was only comfortable with the monthly of all heads of agencies meetings which he has only attended a few times.
"I have had to carry on with the rest of the ministry. Despite being chairman of NNPC board. I have tried to manage the bad perception created by GMDs blatant insubordination and disrespectful attitude. Particularly I have worked hard to avoid being seen as pretty and meddlesome."
6. Culture of fear
According to Kachikwu, people in the NNPC are afraid of him. He said: "The effect of the attitude of the GMD and the sidelining of the Board is that there is a fear culture in NNPC.
"The open administration I introduced, with your support in our first year of pushing reforms, has been completely eroded.
"The essence of this innovation was to drive great working interface and interaction amongst all Parastatals in the Petroleum sector. Other parastatals have benefitted from this.
"NNPC staff are afraid of contacting me to avoid being punished, sidelined in appointments and targeted. Indeed, the key factor for growth and advancement in NNPC of today is to avoid the minister of state’s office."
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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to meet the minister of state of petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday, October 5, over his leaked letter to him.
The Nation reports that the meeting between the president and Kachikwu is expected to focus on the content of his memo which could instigate the probing of NNPC GMDBaru.
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