Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director, of the NNPC Maikanti Baru were about to kiss and make up Tuesdayduring the energy session at the Mational Economic Summit in Abuja.
The two had been fighting a superiority war in which memos were flying to Aso Rock and media, accusing each another of disrespect and dereliction.
But, during the third planery session of the summit, both spoke of a stronger, more encompassing regulatory authority that would soon emerge in petroleum industry after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Something of a logrolling happened, and each was supporting the other as they made their point. “Whatever model of PIB that we are pushing, the point that Dr. Baru made is very, very key,” he said referring to the NNPC boss.
Kachikwu also spoke on reorganising the marginal oil bidding to make it more effective.
Then Baru went like: “I am committed to work closely with the minister to address the concerns and constraints that hindered the remaining five companies from appropriately operating the marginal oil fields.”
Kachikwu, sounding less pushy, added: “The reality is that no one will work as a minister forever. You are going to hand over that portfolio. We should be looking for the system surviving and able to work well.”
Yet earlier on Tuesday, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, the two strongest labour unions in the oil sector trooped to Baru’s office to assure him of their support for his transformation effort in the NNPC.
Kachikwu had alleged Baru awarded contract worth N9 trillion unilaterally.
President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to come out on what to do, having heard both sides of the story.
Many, however, suggest he fire both of them, and too, resign as oil minister.