The Upper chamber yesterday Summoned the minister of state for petroleum, ibe kachikwu, Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru on the lingering scarcity of petroleum products
They are to appear before its committee on petroleum resources (downstream) on January 4, 2018, in a meeting that would be aired live on national television.
This is not the first time the chamber has invited Baru on the issue. He failed to show up for a December 5 meeting. “We decided to invite the GMD to come and brief on the development and enable Nigerians to know the situation of things. Unfortunately, Baru informed us of his inability to honour the invitation,” the committee chairman, Kabiru Marafa, had said.
The summon was able to take effect as a result of the president of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki’s Announcement asking its members of the committee that is currently observing its Christmas and new year break to cut short its recess and resume work as justification for the lingering scarcity challenges Nigerians are facing.
Meanwhile, regarding reports making the rounds that Kachikwu wrote a memo to president Buhari on the situation, the minister had described the supposed memo and its contents as false, promising his ministry would flood the market with products and prevent any attempt at sabotage
A statement by the ministry’s Director of Press, Idang Alibi, notes: “Our attention has been drawn to a message making the rounds on social media of a purported memo by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, to the President on the crisis. This is not a time for diversionary issues, as the petroleum sector is dealing with a serious national matter. We are focused on collaboratively finding an urgent solution to this crisis.”
The ministry will continue to monitor the situation and work with the NNPC and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to solve the problem and penalise saboteurs, the statement adds.
Kachikwu also urged Nigerians to stay calm, saying the NNPC was doing everything possible to end the shortage.