04 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Following the leak of a memo from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu to President Muhammadu Buhari alleging insubordination by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, the Nigerian Senate has established a panel to probe the allegations.
According to the Upper Legislative Chamber, the panel was set-up, to look into Kachikwu’s allegations over the running of the state oil firm contained in the memo to President Muhammadu Buhari on August 30.
The panel will also probe the policy introduced by the NNPC Trading Limited, a subsidiary of the corporation.
On Tuesday, a memo written by Kachikwu, accusing Baru of insubordination made its way to the internet.
According to the minister, Baru found it difficult to submit to his higher authority, pointing out that it could hamper the development of the oil sector.
“Mr President, yesterday like many other Nigerians, I resumed work confronted by many complications of massive changes within NNPC. Like the previous reorganisation 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 for Petroleum Resources and Chairman NNPC Board,” the memo read in part.
In a swift reaction same day, Kachikwu through a release signed by the Director of Press Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, owned up to writing the leaked memo.
The ministry had described the memo as “a normal procedural correspondence” by the minister.
According to the statement, it was unfortunate that such official memo written by Kachikwu to President Buhari was leaked to the public.
“The attention of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has been drawn to a publication on a memo emanating from the HMSPR to the President”.
“The communication under reference is a normal procedural correspondence by the Minister to the President relating to developments in parastatals under his supervision. It is most distressing to the ministry of petroleum resources that a confidential communication to the President on the performance of one of its parastatals can be made public.”
The ministry further explained that the focus of the communication was on improving efficiency and deepening transparency in the oil and gas sector for continued investor confidence.
“It is noteworthy that the President has been fully supportive of the efforts of the Ministry to entrench good governance and accountability in the oil and gas sector.”
It then added that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources remains focused on achieving measurable progress in the implementation of the ongoing oil sector reforms in line with the mandate of the President.
However, no word has since been heard from Dr. Baru concerning the allegations levelled against him despite reactions trailing the leaked memo since Tuesday.