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Oily mess: Kachikwu drags Baru to Buhari over allegations of corruption and insubordination

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Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, has written a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged insubordination of Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
In the letter, Kachikwu accused Baru of “completely eroding” some of the reforms he introduced as head of the oil firm.
Buhari had appointed Kachikwu as NNPC GMD in August 2015 but replaced him with Baru in July 2016.
In the letter, Kachikwu alleged that Baru had been sidelining the NNPC board.
“Like the previous reorganisations and repostings done since Mr Baru resumed as GMD, I was never given the opportunity before the announcements to discuss these appointments. This is so despite being the minister of state petroleum and chairman, NNPC board,” the letter read.
“The board of NNPC which you appointed and which has met every month since its inauguration, and which by the NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed. Members of the board learnt of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC.
“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. Not only did he not give my letter the courtesy of a reply, he proceeded to announce the appointments without consultation on board concurrence.
“Mr President, please note that there is a board service committee whose function is to review potential appointment and termination of senior staff prior to implementation. This committee was also not consulted.
“The open administration I introduced with your support in our year of pushing reforms, has been completely eroded. NNPC staff are afraid of contacting me for the fear of being punished, sidelined in appointments and targeted.
“The effect of the attitude of the GMD and the sidelining of the board is that there is a fear culture in NNPC.”
On financial matters, Kachikwu states as follows:
”The legal and procedural requirement is that all contracts above $20m would need to be reviewed and approved by the board of NNPC.
“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 NNPC.
“Given the history of malpractices and the public perception of NNPC as having a history of non-transparency, the NNPC tenders board, NTB, cannot be the final clearance authority for contracts it enters into.
”The following major contracts were never reviewed by or discussed with me or the NNPC board:
1.The Crude Term Contracts valued at over $10billion.
2.The DSDP Contracts with over $5billion.
3.The Akk Pipeline Contract valued at $3billion.
4.Various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs valued at $3billion. 5.Various other NPDS production service contracts valued at between $3-4billion.
”There are many more your excellency. In most of these activities the explanation of the GMD is that you are the minister of Petroleum and your approvals were obtained.
”When I call for meetings, the GMD chooses which meetings he wishes to attend and those he chooses to send subordinates. He sends those subordinates without courtesy of a call to explain his absence.”
“At inception I instituted a monthly Parastals review meeting with Head of Agencies and another with the oil senior management in all parastatals, the GMD objected to his senior staff coming to the joint senior management meetings. He argued that this was overreaching his territory, I have tried to manage the bad perception created by GMD’s blatant insubordination and disrespectful attitude, I have worked hard to avoid being seen as petty and meddlesome.”
Kaxhikwu appealed to Buhari to intervene and “save the NNPC and oil industry from collapse arising from above non-transparent practices and empower the board you inaugurated to do the needful”.
“That you save the office of the minister of state from further humiliation and disrespect by compelling all parastatals to submit to oversight regulatory mandate and proper supervision which I am supposed to manage on your behalf,” he wrote.
“You kindly instruct the GMD to effectively leave the NNPC to run as a proper institution and report out along due process lines to the board and that your excellency instructs that all reviews be done with the minister of state prior to your decision.
“That to set right examples, you approve that the recently announced reorganisation changes be suspended until the GMD , myself and the board have made relevant input to same. This will send a clear signal of process and transparency.
“That your excellency encourages joint presentation meeting between head of parastatals and the minister of state to you as to encourage a culture of working together and implant discipline in the hierarchy.”
Contacted Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman of the NNPC, said he could not comment on the “purported letter which I have not sighted”.
“The issue of the purported letter is a matter between party A and party B which I cannot comment on,” he said.
The Cable
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