- The leaked memo of Dr Ibe Kachikwu to President Muhammadu Buhari is still generating reactions across Nigeria
- The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has offered a new dimension to the saga
- NUPENG suggested that the allegations of Dr Kachikwu are political
The Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ (PTD) branch of NUPENG has reacted to the leaked memo of the minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to President Buhari.
Kachikwu had accused the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, of awarding contracts worth over $26 billion without the NNPC board approval which he (Kachikwu) chairs.
The memo dated August 30, also accused Dr Baru of excluding Kachikwu and the board of the NNPC in the management of the corporation.
But the tanker drivers dismissed the allegation and described it as diversionary and deeply political.
The national chairman of PTD, Comrade Salmon Oladiti, in a statement sent to NAIJ.com on Friday, October 6, warned against unnecessary politicization and promotion of certain entrenched interests in the oil industry, both in the upstream and downstream sectors, to the detriment of the nation.
Oladiti declared that individuals not comfortable with certain monumental achievements of the NNPC GMD have been working to create confusion in the industry to ensure that Baru was sacked from office.
He specifically mentioned the ongoing resuscitation of the NNPC depots across the country by Baru, which he noted were dismissed as obsolete by the previous management of the corporation before Dr Baru assumed office.
According to him, private individuals not comfortable with the refurbishment of the NNPC depots and were smarting to buy the national assets and ultimately turn them to private depots were behind the orchestrated plot to paint Baru in bad light.
Part of the statement read:“Our stand is that we are in support of what he has been doing, especially in the downstream sector.
“What Dr Baru has been doing is in the interest of Nigeria and our union and the larger downstream sector as a whole.
“Before Dr Baru came on board, there were move to privatise all the depots into private hands, petroleum marketers and other stakeholders, we were being told that the depots were decrepit and could no longer function.
“Their mission was to privatise all the depots in the country into private hands. Those administering the corporation before him were empowering their cronies in the private depots. Since Dr Baru assumed office as GMD, NNPC, he said all these depots are national assets and must be made to work.
“Nigerians can all see that he has started bringing them to life again. Yesterday, (Wednesday) he was in Ibadan depot and the depot is alive now. He started from Ejigbo depot in Lagos. That depot and the one in Aba is loading now. Mosimi depot in Ogun state is loading now.
“As we speak, Kano is loading and Baru he will soon re-commission Ilorin depot. He has said that before the end of the year, he will make sure that he makes Ore depot and Enugu depots functional again.”
Oladiti stated that the PTD branch of NUPENG under his leadership are hundred percent in support of the leadership of Dr Baru and his team at the NNPC.
He noted that his members can list petroleum products with ease at depots owned by NNPC in their respective states without coming long distance to Lagos to experience the trauma of traffic congestion and harassment by security agents and area boys.
He advised President Buhari to ignore the issues raised by Kachikwu, adding that some people pursue private interest under the guise of national interest.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district, Shehu Sani, has reacted to the leaked memo of Kachikwu to President Buhari.
Sani who appeared in Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday, October 4, urged Buhari to take serious action on the issues raised by the minister of state for petroleum.
Senator Sani stated that if the allegations were not probed, it will spark negative conclusions that the presidency has been hijacked.
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