Business Hilights
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Baru’s visit to Aso Rock means Kachukwu is needless in petroleum industry

The imports of the recent official differences that ensured between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu and the GMD of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, are still manifesting.

Recall that the official response of the NNPC on Kachukwu’s petition to President Muhammadu Buhari was that hence the Act establishing NNPC does not recognize the office of the Minister of State, but the main Minister of Petroleum, which is Mr. President, Dr. Baru has no business reporting to Kachukwu.

Analysts say with that singular interpretation, Dr. Kachukwu remains a nobody in the running of Nigeria’s petroleum industry even though he is still, but a ceremonial member of the Federal Executive Council.

This may have formed the pivot on which Dr. Baru relied on to visit the Presidency on Monday without any recourse to Kachukwu, to brief his direct boss, President and Minister of Petroleum on the state of affairs concerning fuel scarcity.

Though unlike the Corporation character, no press statement had been issued for the visit, but analysts suggest that he went to give report on the fuel situation, sequel to the marching order given to him during the last federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on the fuel crisis.

Feelers say it was not clear who he met, but there are indications that he was armed with situation report on fuel scarcity crisis even though Dr. Kachukwu was not privy to the visit, according to Business Hilights investigations.

A source at the Presidency confided in our Abuja Bureau Chief on Tuesday evening that “I think his visit is not strange, being the head of a strategic agency of the government. However, recall that even though the mandate of resolving the teething fuel situation across mega cities was given to him and Dr. Kachukwu, he is more involved because his direct supervisor remains the Minister of Petroleum who is the President”.

The source declined to respond on the trending feeling that the NNPC Act which only recognizes the senior minister, technically rendered Kachukwu useless in the business of Nigerian oil industry after all.