The fate of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu at the moment hangs in the balance.
The dust raised by him over the unilateral award of hefty oil and gas contracts totaling about $25 billion by the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has taken a twist, as the presidency is considering taking actions against the minister having cleared the NNPC boss of any infraction.
The president feels the unfounded allegation raised by the minister scandalised his administration, although he is yet to make a decision, National Daily gathered the outcome is likely not to favour Kachickwu.
National Daily gathered that the president felt the unfounded allegation raised by Kachikwu scandalised his administration in the public eye. “The Presidency directed the GMD of NNPC to provide facts and figures, which it got from Baru,” the source said.
“Thereafter, the NNPC Act, the NNPC Handbook and Public Procurement Act were consulted on the responses of Baru to find out if infractions were committed by the corporation. “Having been convinced that there were no infractions, the Presidency then directed NNPC to lay the cards on the table for Nigerians to see and judge.
“What was uppermost in the responses of the GMD was the fact that ‘there was no evidence of sharp practices, bribery, looting of funds and diversion of transaction cash’. “The allegations of Kachikwu were rated as ‘wild, intentional and political in nature’ against the administration he is serving.”
Meanwhile, the minister is said to be strategising with his associates, stakeholders and colleagues on his next move now that he appears to have has fallen out favour with the current regime.
A highly-placed stakeholder who spoke about Kachikwu’s travails said the minister was consulting with some vital players in the oil sector about what transpired. “I am aware that the minister has been holding consultations and telling some vital players in the oil sector what transpired.
“Of importance to him is the allegation of alleged plot to sabotage the government of President Buhari with the leakage of the August 20 memo. He has maintained his innocence that he did not leak the letter. But it is tragic that no one believes Kachikwu’s story anymore in the Presidency,” the source said.