Kachikwu & Baru meet at Abuja economic summit; Buhari seeks approval for fresh $5.5bn foreign loan; Southeast & Southsouth governors to adopt one political bloc . . .
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, Tuesday, put aside their differences and discussed opportunities in the Nigerian petroleum industry and ways to grow the sector.
The duo met at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, at the Energy Policy Committee breakout session. Baru came first at the venue of the program, while Kachikwu walked in about 15 minutes later. As soon as the Minister of State entered, Baru stood, approached him and exchanged pleasantries.
Speaking on the opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Kachikwu said Nigerian petroleum industry has immense potentials which are growing on a daily basis. Baru, on the other hand, highlighted the opportunities in the forthcoming marginal oil fields bid round, stating that the successful completion of the process would present a veritable opportunity for Nigeria to grow its crude oil output and create employment.
This show of respect to Kachikwu by Baru is most welcome. After all, Kachikwu is Baru’s big boss and also the head of the supervisory ministry of NNPC. Both men need to work together, and amicably to steer the Nigerian volatile and corruption-riddled crude oil and petroleum industry, and by extension, the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry.
This Kachikwu leaked memo to President Muhammadu Buhari and its contents will not go away soon. The memo is not likely to go away simply by the two dramatis personae or the no-love-lost duo (‘kissing’) and hugging each other at an Abuja economic summit. The hornet’s nest steered by Kachikwu’s leaked memo, alleging a $25 billion irregularly implemented contracts awards and a reorganisation and personnel deployment exercise, allegedly carried out by Baru and his NNPC, in Kachikwu-alleged violation of statutory provisions, will linger for a long time – into the 2019 national elections – as a campaign material.
President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly seeking approval for a loan request of $6.5 billion. Buhari’s appeal was contained in a letter read on the floor of Upper Legistive Chamber by the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday.
According to the letter, the President said the loans will be sourced through issuance of Euro and Diaspora bonds and the borrowing will be used to fund capital projects. Projects listed by Buhari in the letter include the construction of Mabila power project in Taraba State, construction of second runway of Abuja Airport and other major projects across the country. The President also said part of foreign loans will be used to refinance local debts.
It appears that the cycle of perpetual indebtedness of Nigeria will continue ad infinitum.
Governors of the Southeast and South-south have resolved to take a common position on political issues and work as one bloc. The governors, who met under the aegis of the Southeast/South-south Governors’ Forum in Owerri, the Imo Stat capital, adopted a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel.
They resolved to protect and bring benefits to the political future and interest of the people of the two zones. The meeting was attended by Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Dr Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ben Ayade (Cross River) Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Sariake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Dr Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor (Anambra).
The communiqué reads: “The forum discussed issues bordering on the prevalent political atmosphere in the country and resolved that the two regions will go as a bloc in one direction that will protect and be beneficial to the political future and interest of the people of the regions.”
The governors also resolved to remain committed to one indivisible and indissoluble Nigeria and scheduled their next meeting for November 26 at Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
It’s wakeup time for these governors. This is something the men or the previous governors from the two zones should’ve done years ago, instead of thinking that the individual states or the two zones individually, can compete politically with the new and thriving north-west political alliance ruling Nigeria presently. This new southeast-south-south political alliance is good for Nigeria’s political space. A stitch in time saves nine!