By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has reiterated its support for the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru in the management of the Corporation.
In a statement signed by its National Secretary, Mr Danladi Pasali, on Wednesday in Abuja, it 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 .
IPMAN considered the said letter as another attempt to divert the attention on the successes achieved and an invitation of chaos to the already sanitized sector, Pasali wrote.
“In the said letter the minister accused the NNPC management of insubordination, which we considered as very ridiculous.
“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.
“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,’’ it said
Pasali listed the efficiency in petroleum products supply, appointing technocrats into right positions and sanitising the imports of petroleum products which stabilises the fuel supply in the country within the last two years, as some of the major achievements of Baru.
“We use this medium to inform the general public to always desist from any unsolicited rumors of fuel scarcity by any person or group of persons.
“We therefore call on his Excellency to disregard any attempt to scuttle the achievements in the downstream oil sector especially now that some politicians will resort to saboteurs as the election year is approaching.
In the letter, Kachikwu reported Baru, to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to take urgent actions to save the oil industry and curb the alleged insubordination of Baru.
He accused Baru of running the NNPC like his private business and making appointments without regard to the Board and the ministry.
The letter bore the title: ‘MATTERS OF INSUBORDINATION AND LACK OF ADHERENCE TO DUE PROCESS PERPETUATED BY THE GMD NNPC – DR. BARU’
Part of the letter read: “I would have wanted to come personally after receiving you at the airport to felicitate with you and discuss matters herein contained. However, I have been unable to secure an appointment to see you, despite very many attempts”.
“Parastatals in the ministry and all CEOs of these parastatals must be aligned with the policy drive of the ministry to allow the sector register the growth that has eluded it for many years. To do otherwise or to exempt any of the parastatals would be to emplace a stunted growth for the industry.”
“The Board of NNPC, which you appointed and, which has met every month since its inauguration and, which by the statutes of NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed. Members of the Board learnt of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC”
Kachikwu said he was tired of tolerating “disrespectful and humiliating conducts by the GMD”.
‘My prayers most humbly and respectfully are “That we save NNPC and the oil industry from collapse arising from the above non-transparent practices and empower the Board you inaugurated to do the needful.
“That you save the office of the Minister of State from further humiliation and disrespect by compelling all parastatals to submit to oversight regulatory mandate and proper supervision which I am supposed to manage on your behalf.
“You kindly instruct the GMD to effectively leave NNPC to run as a proper institution and report out along due process lines to the Board and that Your Excellency instructs that all reviews be done with the Minister of State, prior to your decision.
“That to set the right examples, you approve that the recently announced reorganisation changes be suspended until the GMD, myself and the Board have made relevant input to same. This will send a clear signal of process and transparency.
“These, in my view, Mr. President, will provide you balanced analysis on issues and avoid exposing the exalted office of Mr. President to ridicule. It will also reduce non-productive, unsubstantiated rumour peddling.
“Mr. President, I thank you for the opportunities given me to serve and I wish you continued full recovery. I remain loyal and very proud of you sir”.(NAN)