Former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has reacted to the ongoing screening of President Muhammadu Buhari ministerial nominees.
Her media consultant, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, in a statement yesterday commended the Senate for televising live the screening of ministerial nominees, saying that the truth about Alison-Madueke’s legacy as Petroleum Minister, is beginning to emerge “despite the conspiracy to diminish her sterling accomplishments on the altar of politics.”
Commenting on the screening of Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Aguiyi stated that the brilliant performance of the current Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the Senate’s screening validated almost all the policies and actions championed and taken by the former Minister.
The policies, he said, include the unbundling of NNPC to make it operate like a private company, introduction of stringent internal audit control mechanism, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), concern over the sustainability of the subsidy regime and shutting down of non-performing refineries.
Kachikwu, while responding to questions by senators, agreed to the unbundling of NNPC into a private sector, while noting that there will be no removal of subsidy until palliatives are put in place. He lamented that with the non-passage of PIB, Nigeria was losing $15 billion yearly.
Kachikwu also told the Senate that he would continue to seek solutions even without the passage of the bill, using existing laws, which was what Mrs. Alison-Madueke resorted to throughout her tenure as Oil Minister.
Aguiyi further commended Kachikwu for speaking from the courage of his conviction because his averred plans to distribute free cylinders to every home with gas stations closer to homes, is in line with Alison-Madueke’s stimulation of gas-based industrialization.
He also noted that Alison-Madueke, besides the PIB, also championed the introduction of local content in the oil sector and pushed for the adoption of the Nigerian Content Development Bill (NCDB) into law as a major priority. It became one of the very first acts of policy reform introduced in the infancy of the administration.
The statement noted that over $200 billion worth of procurements and nearly $10 billion worth of research and development project, hitherto monopolised by foreign interests, as well as technical services valued at nearly $80 billion worth of engineering works were retained in the country.
According to him, under the former minister, “Nigerians, for the first time, also made critical infrastructure investments such as marine vessels, petroleum jetties and depots to the extent that over 50 per cent of vessels operating in Nigeria are owned by Nigerian indigenes.”
“The nation cannot simply wish away the fact that as oil minister, Mrs. Alison-Madueke made giant strides, as she laid down solid foundations and made achievements that can be built upon by the current and future administration,” the statement concluded.
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