Port Harcourt — The Trade Union Congress, TUC, has said that it is unfair for people to say that the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, did not achieve anything while in office, despite being an expert in the industry.
This comes as some stakeholders have expressed doubt, and wonder how the new Minister, Chief Timipre Sylva, who has been a career politician would achieve much in his new role, whereas Kachikwu who was an expert, having worked for many years in the industry, did not achieve much while holding sway as minister.
But reacting this insinuation, the Deputy National President of TUC, Comrade Chika Onuegbu, said one major achievement of Kachikwu was addressing of cash call arrears, adding that the immediate past Minister was also able to stabilise the industry.
Onuegbu who is also the Chairman, PENGASSAN and NUPENG Joint Committee on PIB, however, said Kachikwu did not do much on the area of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
According to him, “People need to appreciate the challenges Kachikwu had; to say Kachikwu did not achieve anything is unfair.
“One of his achievements is the issue around payment of cash call arrears. If you remember, when Kachikwu came in, we had cash call arrears of over $90billion. He worked with the industry and came up with the formula of how to address all that.
“He also brought stability in the industry.
“One major area we can say he (Kachikwu) didn’t do well is the area of PIB. Of course, I believe that is an area where someone with political weight will succeed and I think Sylva will do well in that area.”
On delay in the passage of the PIB which some stakeholders have raised the alarm that the current version of the PIB and its concomitant segments, was not in the interest of Nigerians, Onuegbu called for increased citizens’ participation in legislative process.
“It is not enough for people to write on social media; people must participate in the legislative process to ensure their inputs in the bill. People from all walks of life bring in their inputs, that is how great laws are made.”