Some stakeholders in the oil sector are pushing for the removal of Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources.
This is as a result of the minister’s claim that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) awarded N25 billion contracts without due process .
Although, Kachikwu later recanted , saying the issues he raised were on governance and the “way to go about it”, some major marketers and key unions in the sector are said to be miffed.
The unions consist of the leadership of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the petroleum tanker drivers branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN).
Others are the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
An industry source quoted one of the union leaders as saying “Kachikwu has lost all moral and credible integrity to lead or supervise the oil and gas industry”.
The source said some of the unions are plotting to embarrass the minister with fuel scarcity in order to make him resign.
In a position paper recently written to the presidency, the leadership of NARTO described Kachikwu’s allegations as a display of “immaturity”.
“We would like to reiterate that the comment made by the minister were an act of immaturity and an indirect affront on the personality of President Muhammadu Buhari who is the substantive minister of petroleum resources,” read the paper signed by Kassim Bataiya, NARTO president.
The petroleum tankers drivers are said to have recommended the minister’s sack to Buhari.
Realising the tough opposition against him, the minister was said to have reached out to the stakeholders but they reportedly turned him down.
As of the time this report was filed, the minister was not available for comments as Uche Adighibe, spokesman of the ministry, did not respond to a text message sent by TheCable.