Kachikwu vs Baru: Foreign Investors Jittery As Spat Shines Spotlight On Graft

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The public spat between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the General Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru is making foreign investors nervous.

This comes at a time when the junior minister’s memo are reinforcing strong belief that nothing has changed between this administration and corrupt past governments.

According to a Bloomberg report, Antony Goldman, analyst and director of London-based PM Consulting, a risk advisory that specializes in West Africa, said “It’s a level of dirty washing in public between key officials that does the industry, and Nigeria more generally, few favors.”

“The president — and the public — now have two sharply contrasting views of how the oil industry in Nigeria is being managed,”

The NNPC in an emailed statement on Monday said it was not obligated to report to the Chairman.

“The law and the rules do not require a review or discussion with the minister of state or the NNPC board on contractual matters,” Ndu Ughamadu, an Abuja-based spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., said Monday in an online statement. The company needs only the approval of the president “in his executive capacity or as minister of petroleum,” or the cabinet, he said.

However many pundits have drawn attention to the fact that the NNPC appears not to have changed under Buhari due to the potent allegations raised by Kachikwu’s letter to Buhari.

Bala Zaka, a petroleum engineer, said NNPC’s stock prices would have plunged significantly had it been a listed company.

“If NNPC was listed on the stocks exchange, its stocks would have crashed so much that it won’t be able to recover for many years,” Mr. Zaka told PREMIUM TIMES last week.

Mr. Zaka said Mr. Kachikwu’s revelations indicate that the NNPC, which had been dogged by corruption since its creation in 1977, had not changed even under Mr. Buhari.

“This further confirms that there has been no change in the NNPC since the days of Diezani [Alison-Madueke],” he said,

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