Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura has said that the nation’s oil and gas sector can be free controversies currently rocking the sector if President Muhammad Buhari steps down as the Minister of Petroleum.
The Senator, said this on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics and also recommends that Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru should be suspended for a thorough investigation into the allegations.
Alasoadura said if President Buhari steps aside as Minister of Petroleum it will enable him to attend to other issues while Nigeria’s oil and gas which he described as the sector generating the bulk of the nation’s income experience undelayed progress.
“Judging from the daunting problem facing our country today, I believe Mr President should devote more time to other things and let an independent person run the ministry of Petroleum Resources and be able to report to him if it is two times a week or weekly or even bi-weekly. As much as possible, let other people handle this ministry because that is where the bulk of the income of this country comes from and we cannot afford to have any
“As much as possible, let other people handle this ministry because that is where the bulk of the income of this country comes from and we cannot afford to have any pile-up of the things that should be done in the ministry quickly,” he said.
When asked if Kachikwu and Baru should also step aside, Alasoadura said the men need to step aside for thorough investigation to be conducted into the corruption allegations.
“I believe so; especially the man who is doing the day-to-day running of the organisation. In order not to hinder or hamper that investigation, because records will be needed and even from the date of the leakage of that letter, I think action should have been taken to ensure that nothing will be missing when investigations start
“So, I think the two of them should be asked to step aside and when the investigation is over, whoever is culpable will go and whoever is not culpable, will continue with his duties.”
Kackiwku had earlier in a letter to Buhari alleged that the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru awarded contracts amounting to $26 billion without following due process.