A lawyer and political analyst, Mr Liborous Oshoma, says the scandal in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has exposed the inconsistencies in the Nigerian Constitution.
This comes amid numerous reactions that trailed the allegations of misconduct and insubordination preferred against the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Mikanti Baru, by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kackiwku.
Oshoma, during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, compared the provisions of the Public Procurement Act to the NNPC Act.
He said, “You see, this also has exposed the inconsistencies in our laws – by virtue of Section 1 subsection 2 of the NNPC Act, the Board manages the corporation and if you look at Section 3 of the Act also, the GMD runs the day-to-day activities of the corporation.”
“But then where the problem is; this is an Act that was passed before the Public Procurement Act. The Public Procurement Act says (for public procurement in every corporation) that the tender board of the corporation and the approving authority (the Federal Executive Council) is enough for purpose of public procurement.”
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru
The lawyer stressed that the positions of the minister and that of the NNPC boss have indicated the complications in the laws.
He noted that apart from appointing Dr Kachikwu as the board chairman of the corporation, there is no enabling instrument in the hand of President Muhammadu Buhari empowering the minister to act in his stead.
The political analyst also believes “The president holding onto that seat (Minister of Petroleum Resources) has created a lot of problems.”
A petroleum engineer, Mr Zakka Bala, who also reacted to the scandal on our political programme, was of the opinion that the feud was a result of management disharmony in the oil and gas sector.
Bala said, “If you have management disharmony, then it simply means that within that corporate entity or organisation; it will be very difficult to actualise or implement the vision or mission of that corporation – that’s the first thing that is going to happen.”
He further warned that the disagreement between Kachikwu and Baru might lead to internal confusion if not properly managed.
The oil expert said, “Of courses, there is management disharmony and when you talk about classes of management, you can talk about operational level, tactical level, and strategic management.”
“In the case of Dr Kachikwu and Dr Baru, you’re talking about the two most senior Nigerians that are superintending over the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
“So when you have this kind of disharmony at the strategic level, it is bound to send a very wrong signal to the oil community and it is bound to cause confusion internally,” he said.