Dr Ibe Kachikwu parades an intimidating academic resume which qualifies him for even the position of minister of Petroleum. Kachikwu’s claim to competence is bolstered by an equally awesome work experience, a graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria and the Nigerian Law School and a Masters and Doctorate Degree from Harvard University.
Anyone involved in political appointment position for over a year is bound to have an extensive track record. However, Dr. Kachikwu’s seems to be filled with the constant transformation of views on hot-button issues.
In May, 2016 Kachikwu was at his best when he proclaimed to a Refinery thirsty nation that his Ministry has concluded plans with oil majors to privatise the nation’s refineries within the next one year.
Waxing in characteristic rhetoric Kachikwu stated thus “We have gotten commitments from some of the majors. Agip has indicated interest to work with us on Port Harcourt, Chevron on Warri. We are talking to Total on Kaduna,” Kachikwu said at that time.
He explained that the new refineries will be developed by private investors and that NNPC’s role will be just to provide them with space close to the existing refineries to enable them share key facilities such as pipelines and storage facilities.
However, the minister had earlier stated that the refineries would not be disposed off, but said government would seek investors to co-locate new refineries near the existing ones which presently perform abysmally lower than their installed capacities, according to PER SECOND NEWS checks.
Kachikwu on Tuesday, while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), who were on an oversight visit to the ministry contradicted himself again by stating that the country’s three refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna are not up for concession or privatisation, as there is no plan to do so, by the Federal Government.
But Kachikwu’s deep sense of mendacity is far from being extinguished. Months ago, the Minister of state virtually unleashed a new album with the proclamation that he has signed MoUs worth $80 billion with the Chinese to be spent on investments in oil and gas infrastructure, pipelines, refineries, and other refurbishments.
At the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in October, Kachikwu again said that Nigeria will soon close the deal on a $3 billion to $4 billion loan from China that will be channelled towards the provision of infrastructure in the oil and gas sector, include refinery repairs.
In March, Kachikwu got a tongue-lashing from the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over comments on fuel scarcity in the country.
According to Tinubu, “With so much on the line, Kachikwu’s flippancy was out-of-line.
Tinubu said he believed Kachikwu “has strayed from the progressive calling required of this administration.”
While many question whether Kachikwu has experienced honest changes of heart or whether these are politically motivated stunts, many in Nigeria understand that the latter is true.