Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru yesterday met for the first time since the controversy that trailed the minister’s leaked memo to President Muhammad Buhari.
The two, met at side-line during the Nigerian Economic Summit Group 2017, at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, where they sat on the same panel. The minister served as chairman of the session, while Baru was among the panel of discussants.
In his remark, Baru who chaired a group on the topic: Unlocking the Opportunities through 2nd Marginal Fields Bid Round, insisted on the independence of the regulatory agencies, with little or no political interference for the oil industry to operate.
Baru said for Nigeria to get it right on the marginal fields, the autonomy of the regulator and the transparency of the process must be enshrined.
While reacting, the minister agreed with Baru, saying that the point “is very, very key to see an independent regulator with very enormous powers, with less of political interface so that individual could do their work.”
Kachikwu said at the moment he is whittling down the powers of the minister’s office in the on-going reforms of the industry “so that these institutions could work and work well, the reality is that no one will work as a minister forever, you are going to hand over that portfolio.
“We should be looking for the system surviving and been able to work well, so it’s something that we are working very hard on and I think if you look at the issues that come up, there are a lot of emphasis on that independence. We are still working to make it better by the time the National Assembly finishes what they are doing we are going to see a much stronger, a much larger independent regulator.”
Meanwhile, Ministry of Petroleum Resources yesterday said calls for Kachikwu to resign his appointment were not proper as he has done nothing wrong.