History is often written by champions, it is said. If this assertion is true, then Chief Godwin Jedy-Agba, is at the threshold of what could be its sweetest epoch of statesmanship and politics. Following his emergence as the ministerial nominee, the nooks and crannies, business and political circuits of Nigeria are ecstatic with joy.
A technocrat of note, Agba’s emergence has thrown the oil sector into euphoric fits of pleasure and expectation. He arrived like a lightning shaft from Eden, to command the applause of a critical senate; and by the time Jedy was done with his screening, the hallowed chambers of the Eighth National Assembly was swoony from his speech and measured élan.
For over thirty minutes, he dazzled lawmakers of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber from the hot seat during the ministerial screening session. The intense conference of parliamentarians and President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees established the depth and brilliance of Godwin who took his time to enlighten the lawmakers about issues pertaining to country’s ailing oil sector.
It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to say that Godwin has a patriot’s heart and the soul of a revolutionary. Appointed Minister-nominee with a view to serving as the unsullied force of hope that would endow President Muhammadu Buhari’s patriotic, heartfelt efforts to rid the nation’s oil sector of ineptitude and corruption.
Yes, one of Nigeria’s very experienced energy administrators, Godwin Jedy-Agba, is a minister-nominee of President Muhammadu Buhari. And there is, understandably, song and dance in the quarters of those who know the capacity and experience of the nominee in the oil and gas sector.
Notwithstanding his previous temperate, restrained and strategic foray into partisan politics, his accomplishments and exploits as an astute administrator have not diminished a bit. His administrative savoir faire and legerdemain had been writ-large in his public service trajectory from which he retired at the NNPC.
While the likely portfolio that would be assigned to the Prince of Obudu from Cross River state is not the subject of this piece of writing, it is, however, not in doubt that Buhari has made up his mind about using the few “technocrats”-like Abubakar Malami (SAN), Sunday Dare (journalist) Osagie Ehinare (consultant physician) et al, in his list to man some specialized ministries to demand value for knowledge and experience.
And, if this is the intendment, then one does not need a crystal ball to guess where Jedy-Agba, a former Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division (OMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will likely be assigned: perhaps, not far away from the petroleum ministry. While it is unlikely the President will hands off his direct control of the Petroleum Ministry, as the substantive Minister-in-charge, he will need a brilliant and effective minister of state who can be saddled with all the basic responsibilities of the ministry without caving in.
If the politics of administration is played with humility and wisdom, a minister of state can enjoy the privilege of full control with the confidence of the President to boot. Nothing suggests to the contrary that Jedy-Agba cannot be trusted to deliver on a presidential mandate with tact and precision. That will be in spite of the salacious narratives by detractors and traducers who are on a voyage of upending a luminous epoch that beckons.
With President Buhari’s commitment to consolidating on the achievements of his first four years in the saddle, attention is focused on experience. The president appears unprepared to gamble with “untested hands”. He is greatly seeking to make a better impression in his second term of office. To do this, he cannot afford to put square pegs in round holes. Buhari cannot afford to deploy a learner who cannot take the pressure off him in the administration of the critical petroleum sector.
Besides, time is of the essence. While the nation is waiting to see the ministers hit the ground running, critics are also waiting to feast on the administration’s mistakes.Viewed from any angle, Jedy-Agba is a good pick who could help the administration to weather the storm in the entire oil industry.
It could be recalled that Jedy-Agba’s onerous tasks as Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC had put him in a good stead to manage a complex terrain. He was responsible for liaising with Crude Pricing & Technical Evaluation Section on Price movement and other input data for market reports. He also monitored and analyzed consumption of other energy types, terms of cost availability and relative impact on world petroleum supply/demand balance. Jedy-Agba was simply vast and deep; and was capacitated enough to handle his huge responsibilities.