Kachikwu Broke No Law By Restructuring Nnpc – Senate
BEVERLY HILLS, March 10, (THEWILL) – The Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream) on Thursday declared that the Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu did not breach any law by carrying out a reorganisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
It would be recalled that the Group Managing Director of the state oil company had on Tuesday at a press conference in Abuja announced the restructuring of the corporation into downstream, gas and power, refinery, ventures, corporate planning and services.
THEWILL had reported how the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday described the “unbundling” as illegal and begun the process of probing the decision taken by President Muhammadu Buhari.
During that day's plenary, the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye described the exercise as illegal as the federal government did not consult the National Assembly to repeal the enabling law that set up the organisation, before breaking it into different components.
But appearing before members of the committee on Thursday, Kachikwu explained: “I may have been misunderstood, but it won't be business as usual. We will create new career paths and accountability for the people.
“We are going into a threshold where the majors are turning into a major focus. When I first joined, I set up 20 teams that dealt with 20 fixes.
“I have issued about 10,000 podcasts explaining what we are doing and where we are headed. We are moving at a very fast pace. I worked on this issue with the president and we kept it as confidential as we could.”
In his reaction, the Senate Chief Whip said the Minister would have broken the law if he was turning the NNPC into a private company.
According to him, “We were told that you were unbundling the NNPC, which means you were taking money to form a private company.
“If that is what you did, you would have broken the law. You have subsequently told the nation that what you did was restructuring.
“As long as you have not created anything that is independent. You will need these workers and need to have them not to be afraid. From everything you have said, I have confidence in you, but laws are not based on sentiments.”
But briefing newsmen after the meeting, Chairman of the Committee, Tayo Alasoadura said: “We feel he has not contravened the law. NNPC is a corporation that was made by a body in the national assembly so it was right to have come to us to discuss.”