Reps fault NNPC’s unbundling, accuse minister of usurpation
• Zuma’s visit halts process • ‘How cabal moved to stall exercise’
The House of Representatives yesterday faulted the proposed unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), saying the move runs contrary to the dictates of the law.
It viewed the recent announcement by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, as usurpation of the functions of the National Assembly.
At the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara yesterday, the lawmakers made their stance known while adopting a motion sponsored by Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe (PDP, Ogoja/Yala, Cross River).
They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to come forth with an executive bill if he truly had the intention to either unbundle the entity or carry out fundamental reforms in the oil and gas sector.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) (Downstream), Gas and Local Content and Legislative Compliance to ensure that Kachikwu was stopped from executing the plan.
In the meantime, the process leading to the unbundling exercise was aborted yesterday following the official visit of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma to the country.
The Guardian gathered that the minister was to commence the process yesterday, but for Zuma’s arrival which necessitated him to be at the Villa.
According to a source, Kachikwu had planned to meet with labour unions, top management staff, senior and junior staff of the corporation before rounding off with a press conference later in the day.
Meanwhile, a source yesterday disclosed how the presidency resisted move by the cabal in the oil sector to stall the entire unbundling exercise.
According to the source who pleaded anonymity, “the presidency’s appointment of Kachikwu and the few reforms he has introduced have not gone down well with the cabal in the sector, because it is no longer business as usual.
“That is why they are leaving no stone unturned in sabotaging the corporation management’s efforts in sanitising and repositioning the sector for effective operations.
“When the cabal, made of up of oil players and workers, had a hint that the corporation’s management team led by Kachikwu has made a proposal to the presidency for the unbundling of the corporation, they mounted pressure on the presidency not to accede to the request.
“The cabal engaged highly placed Nigerians who also have deep interest in the sector. They even tried to convince the presidency to appoint a new GMD for the corporation, arguing that Kachikwu cannot function effectively in the two positions at the same time.”