Former Petroleum Minister, Tam David West Called Current Minister Of State For Petroleum Resources Kachukwu 'A Minister Without Portfolio' And Just A Figure Head.

Former Minister of Petroleum and Energy during President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as Head of State, Prof. Tam David-West has said that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu is a minister without portfolio who has no say in the administration of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Speaking during an interview with Punch Newspaper, the outspoken ex-minister said he was flabbergasted when he first read about the $25bn NNPC oil contracts controversy in the newspaper, adding that Kachikwu as a minister of state cannot be a boss of the GMD of an oil industry, who is the livewire of that sector.

Read His Exact Words Below:

“I don’t know the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, or the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, but what is going on is very embarrassing to Nigeria. This has never happened before.

“I had a misunderstanding with my managing director when I was oil minister, but it was well managed, although that case was different compared to what is happening currently. Fortunately for me, we both attended the University of Ibadan, so we were friends. But what is happening between Kachikwu and Baru is a misunderstanding over claims and circumstances that are beyond them.

“When you say that a minister of state is the boss of the GMD of NNPC, it is wrong. That cannot be. People are making those claims because of misconception. The minister of state in the First Republic was a minister without a portfolio. He cannot be a boss of the GMD of an oil industry, who is the livewire of that sector.

“Each time I read the newspapers about this issue, I am upset. An editor called me and asked me, ‘What is the duty of a minister of state?’ Some of these problems are caused by personality problems. Some of them have both bloated and ballooned egos. No one is indispensable in Nigeria because for every Nigerian holding a position, there are many others who are better qualified. No public servant can threaten the country. Nigeria is bigger than anyone, so whoever is in a top position should thank God and the country for the opportunity to serve. One million Tam David-Wests cannot threaten Nigeria.

Asked if he think Kachikwu has been sidelined based on his complaint, David-West replied:

“If he is complaining about being sidelined, maybe there is a clash between what he expected and what he has found. There is a fundamental problem there. But are his expectations valid? There are a lot of misconceptions and lies.

“Another important thing is that you cannot be oil minister or the GMD and be an oil merchant. The two individuals should search themselves. Is there a conflict of interest in their activities? Baru said that Kachikwu recommended eight companies to lift oil but Kachikwu said it was a lie. The President must set up a panel to investigate this. In my time, I was offered things by oil companies that I rejected. King Ado Ibrahim in the Ebira land can bear me witness.”

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