Buhari: Kachikwu’s Books Attest to Our Government’s Transparency in Oil Sector

Muhammadu Buhari

* Ex-minister, a gift to us all, says Osinbajo

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the four books recently published and presented by his former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, attested to details of his administration’s effort at ensuring transparency in the oil sector of the economy.

Buhari spoke during the virtual public presentation of the books, even as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who gave a closing remark, described Kachikwu as “a gift to us all”.

Anchored by Richmond Osuji, the four books presented Thursday were: Nigeria Petroleum Industry: 2015 to the Future; Gas Development in Nigeria: Legal and Policy Framework; Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy; and Nigerian Law of Contract: Study Companion.

Harping on the essence of Kachikwu’s new initiatives, Buhari said the books discuss the industry through the policy framework of his administration, adding that when he assumed office in 2015, the oil sector was in dire straits.

According to him, the oil industry at the time he assumed office was obviously in need of reform if it must attract growth hence, the responsibility to act fast and aggressively rested squarely on the shoulders of his government.

He, therefore, contended that the current transparency in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was a function of the administration’s conscious decision to combat corruption in the all-important sector of which he has remained the substantive minister.

Buhari, however, said he was confident that the books would give insight into the policy framework and operations of the industry.

On his part, Osinbajo, who largely alluded to his personal relationship with the former minister especially, that he had always been at each of his book launches, the last of which he predicted that he had to present more books at once in his next effort, described Kachikwu as a prolific writer, with interest in romance publishing.

Rounding off after describing him as “a gift to us all”, Osinbajo added: “One day, it would be safe to write your memoires”.

In their goodwill messages, former Minister of Defence, T. Y. Danjuma, noted that Kachikwu’s intellectual pedigree was well known to all from his days at Mobil, adding that he was not surprised that as a true scholar, he took time off to author the four books for posterity.

Kachikwu’s successor as minister, Timipre Sylva, also held the view that having worked closely with the president to achieve so much in the petroleum industry, the former minister’s policies remained at the foundation of their current work in the industry.

Others, who delivered goodwill messages included the Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Sanusi Barkindo; Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbon in Equatorial Guinea, Gabriel Obiang Lima; and Secretary General of Africa Petroleum Producers’ Organisation, Omar Farouk.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Kachikwu, while welcoming everyone to the virtual book launch, noted that the whole idea was that people, who came after him, could borrow from his wealth of experience through documentation and be guided by some of the efforts of his leadership.

Also, in his vote of thanks, Kachikwu reiterated that the core idea behind the books was to help situate the role of policy and experience in assisting with research in the foreseeable future.

However, while the book, ‘Nigerian Petroleum Industry – From 2015 to the Future’ was reviewed by Dr. Dayo Ayoade and presented by Barkindo, the book on ‘Gas Development in Nigeria: Legal and Policy Framework’ was reviewed by Dr. Peter Oniemola and presented by Mr. Abdulrasaq Isa.

Subsequently, the book on ‘Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy’ was reviewed by Dr. Toyin Adejonwo Osho and presented by Mr. Austin Avuru.

In the same breath, the book, ‘Nigerian Law of Contract: Study Companion’ was reviewed by Dr. Kemi Omotubora and presented by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.