• Kachikwu earns citizenship of two US states, woos investors
By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday denied that its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made any cash transfer to the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation in support of the media and publicity of Buhari’s 2019 re-election campaigns.
It noted in a statement in Abuja that the allegations that Baru made such transfer was a, “politically induced hallucination which has found accommodation in the subconscious of some mischievous political actors intent on dragging the corporation and its GMD into the arena of partisan political tussle.”
NNPC’s denial of funding Buhari’s re-election came at a time the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, was conferred with the honorary citizenship of the States of Georgia and South Carolina in the United States of America, thus making him honorary citizen of both states.
In the NNPC statement which was signed by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, it said the allegation against Baru was patently false and ran against the prevailing gale of transparency and accountability pervading its operations since Buhari became president.
“With no regard for the cherished investigative reporting ethos of balance and confirmation of story, the allegation, without doubt, come across as a kindergarten execution of an ill thought political brinksmanship,” the corporation said in the statement.
It asked Nigerians to pay no attention to the claims, adding that its management was focused on delivering Buhari’s aspiration for the country’s petroleum industry.
Meanwhile, Kachikwu according to a statement from his office, had at an event organised by the State of Georgia in his honour, got enlisted as a citizen of the state and that of South Carolina.
The statement said the event was held at Atlanta Georgia, in the presence of the top brass of the legislative arm of the state which included Senator Donzella James, Georgia State Senate; Honourable Billy Mitchell, Vice President of the National Black Caucus of State, as well as other legislators of Georgia which included Honourable Erica Thomas, member Georgia House of Representatives; Honourable John Richard King, Chair South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus; and Honourable Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haigler amongst others.
Dawkins-Haigler, who is the Chair Emeritus of Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, was quoted to have said while speaking at the conferment of the honorary citizenship on Kachikwu, that the conferment was in recognition of Kachikwu’s indelible strides and outstanding achievements in the global oil and gas industry, especially during his time as President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and also for institutionalising transparency in Nigeria’s oil sector.
According to the statement, the citizenship conferment by Georgia was followed by that of South Carolina by Honourable John Richard King, Chair of South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus who represented the state.
Both states reportedly presented the symbolic keys to the states to Kachikwu as a further affirmation of the honorary citizenship to him.
Kachikwu, the statement added, equally got conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree, Humane Letters, Honoris Causa by the Trinity International University of Ambassadors, with robing ceremony and presentation of certificate done by Dr. Jaqueline Mohair, founder and chancellor of the university.
It explained that the minister also chaired the Nigerian Oil and Gas Core Strategic Investors’ Meeting held in Atlanta, to woo investors into Nigeria’s oil sector.
It stated that he had the opportunity to pitch the investment opportunities in key focus areas of the country’s oil sector including gas flare bid rounds; modular refineries; domestication of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); and oil and gas infrastructural revamp in the midstream and downstream, with some of the investors expressing optimism about investing in Nigeria.