[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is criticizing Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, as uninformed and irresponsible for suggesting that Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, is running a one-man show at the NNPC.
“We are not surprised that Dr Baru was accused of insubordination by the minister because if the GMD has allowed himself to become an errand boy to the minister just as some of the past GMDs did, he wouldn’t have been accused of such,’’ said Mr Danladi Pasali, national secretary.
“As his position as chairman of NNPC board, the minister should have resolve any internal issue at the board meeting, not to resort to media war.
The marketers said that the letter by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr Ibe Kachikwu was a distraction to the achievements of the corporation.
“As major stakeholders in the downstream oil and gas sector, we acknowledge the successes achieved since the assumption of the current Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru and his team.
“The Baru-led administration has been carrying out outstanding reforms which sanitized the downstream oil sector.
“To this end, IPMAN as major stakeholders with highest distribution outlets across the country hereby reiterate our support to the GMD and his team especially, the current Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Marketing Company, Alhaji Umoru Aliyu Ajiya for the good work they have been doing,’’ he said.
He said the association had noticed some attempt to divert attention on the achievements so far recorded in the sector, with the recent letter written by the Minister of State of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and leaked to media .
Meanwhile, a group the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has called for immediate investigation of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr Maikanti Baru over the alleged $26 billion dollar contract.
“Coming at a time the administration is prosecuting a war against corruption and seeking to enforce due process in the management of national resources, it is imperative that these allegations are thoroughly investigated, said Lead Director of the center Mr Eze Onyekpere. He said that the centre noted with regret the recent allegations by the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on the way and manner Baru, had been running the affairs of the Corporation.
“We recall that officers of the previous federal administration who managed the oil sector are facing investigations and trials for offences related to the stealing of Nigeria’s resources.
He said that these allegations were weighty and if true, constitutes serious crimes and acts of economic sabotage against the Nigerian people and the economy.
“ If a prima facie case is established, the offender(s) should be prosecuted and the full weight of the law brought to bear on them,’’ he said
He therefore, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari should rise to the occasion, in the national interest and ensure that the EFCC moved to investigate these weighty allegations.
He further suggested that the president should consider suspending the alleged official(s) from office to avoid tampering with evidence and sabotaging investigations.