Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 11 March 2016 | 2,265 times
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, has stated that he was misunderstood on the issue of unbundling the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Kachikwu, who appeared before the Senate over the issue yesterday, told the Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream at the National Assembly: “I may have been misunderstood, but it would not be business as usual. We will create new career paths and accountability for people. Also, we are going into a threshold where things would be turning into a major focus. When I first joined, I set up twenty teams that dealt with twenty fixes.”
“I have issued about 10,000 podcasts explaining what we are doing and where we are headed. We are moving at a very fast pace. I worked on this issue with the President and we kept it as confidential as we could,” Kachikwu stated.
He further explained that “the amount of existing pipelines in Nigeria is mind-blowing and the oil sector is trying to move at a very fast pace.” He said there were about 17 subsidiaries in the system, where some were active because they were in public space.
The lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction over the unbundling of the sector, emphasising that the law which created the sector has to be protected.
Senator Stella Oduah, representing Anambra North Senatorial District, said she was perplexed when she learnt of the unbundling exercise. She said that everything said by Kachikwu promoted the unbundling as the production in oil and gas has been horrible for some months.
Oduah also spoke on the idle assets all over NNPC and pipeline systems that have been unattended for a long time. “My worst concern is why a Minister of Gas and Petroleum would have a master plan such as this without the National Assembly going through it,” she said.
Contributing to the subject matter, Senator Sola Adeyeye, representing Osun Central Senatorial District, stated that if really the Minister was guilty of the unbundling as charged, then the Minister has broken a law. He further explained: “Although I have confidence in Kachikwu, he should have come to the National Assembly to discuss the issue, so that he could be defended.
“We were told that you were unbundling the NNPC, which means you were taking money to form a private company. If that is what you did, you would have broken the law. But you have subsequently told the nation that what you did was restructuring.”
“As long as you have not created anything that is independent, you will need these workers in those places. “From everything you have said, I have confidence in you but laws are not based on sentiments,” Adeyeye said.
He added that the reason why legal actions are taking place is because the law has to be protected
•Photo shows Kachikwu.
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