President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, August 4, gave instructions to the newly-appointed managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), while an insider source made breaking disclosures.
It should be recalled that Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu was yesterday announced as the new NNPC boss in an attempt to restore the reputation of the body the tops of which are often accused of being involved in corruption schemes.
According to The Nation, Buhari urged Kachikwu to first focus on the recovery of the stolen oil funds.
A source disclosed that Kachikwu might also be appointed the Minister of State for Petroleum Sources. The other candidates for the position reportedly include the former executive secretary of the Petroleum Products Prices Regulatory Agency, Stanley Reginald; the managing director of the Shell Petroleum Development, Osagie Okunbor, and the NNPC deputy general manager (name not provided).
Chargin Kachikwu on his new duties, President Buhari gave him six terms of reference to reshape the corporation:
1. To clean up the organization of corrupt officials;
2. To recover stolen oil money;
3. To work in cooperation with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Directorate of State Service to ensure the successful fulfillment of point 2;
4. To review the NNPC structure for the body competitive on a global scale;
5. To set goals for all subsidiaries; and
6. To fix the all the national refineries for them to work to maximum effect.
The source also narrated how the new NNPC had been chosen:
“The new GMD of NNPC was picked after a thorough search by the President. Actually, at the end of the search, the choice was narrowed down to four candidates.
“The President opted for Kachikwu who is the Vice President of Exxon Mobil, not only in Nigeria but in Africa. Buhari was impressed by his impeccable credentials as the most senior black African in any multi-national oil firm in the world with 30 years experience.
“Apart from being a First Class graduate, Kachikwu also obtained PhD in Law which enabled him to rise to company secretary in Exxon Mobil…
“In their negotiation, President Buhari repeatedly said: ‘I won’t interfere with your work; I will give you a free hand because I want to reform this oil sector once and for all.’ The GMD accepted the job following what he realized as ‘the infectious patriotism and genuine intention of the President’.”
President Buhari has been focusing on the two major challenges after the assumption of office: security and corruption. During the election campaign, the APC candidate vowed to eliminate insurgency and deal with public funds embezzlement, which was believed to be flourishing under the immediate past administration.
The work is ongoing in both directions. As for the first objective, the country head has made many new appointments in the army leadership, has negotiated with the international leaders on the support and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
As far as the anti-corruption battle is concerned, Buhari has noted that his government took steps to identify the banks and countries where the stolen oil money was held. The president also considers dividing the NNPC.