President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed when he will appoint the minister of petroleum.
Buhari, speaking during the meeting with some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said he would use the one and a half years of heading the sensitive Ministry of Pertroleum to reposition it.
One of the participants at the meeting, who asked to be anonymous, told The Punch’s correspondent: “At the meeting we had recently, we discussed the issues of portfolios and other matters.
“He said it was after this that he would appoint a substantive minister for the ministry. He said he would only personally handle the reorganisation of the much-important ministry.
“Besides, he said the ministry needed to be reformed and be rid of corruption. He promised to sanitise the ministry.”
Meanwhile, it was reported that Buhari is set to appoint an experienced person as his special counsellor on petroleum.
Buhari was once the minister in charge of the ministry and because of his experience he was said to have pledged to make sure that he closed all the gaps that enabled those handling the ministry to either steal money or petroleum products.
The PDP, speaking on the development, said it would be too early to speculate on whether the president would head the ministry or not.
The opposition party advised Nigerians to wait till September when Buhari promised to name his ministers.
Alhaji Ibrahim Jalo, the deputy national publicity secretary of the party, said that he was only sure that the president was going to split the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
He said: “That Buhari is going to head the ministry is speculative. But what we know, going by his body language and actions so far, is that he is going to split the NNPC.
“This is what we know. So, let’s wait and see what he’s going to do before we make comments.”
Meanwhile, Osita Okechukwu, the national publicity secretary of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, said that Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution “vested executive powers on the president.”
He said: “He can decide to exercise such powers by himself or delegate it to his deputy, or public officers of the public service of the federation. That’s what the law says.
“Whether he chooses to manage any ministry by himself is immaterial. Whether he decides to be in charge of ministries such as power, works, women affairs or culture does not mean anything to the Nigerian people.”
President Buhari recently appointed Ibe Kachikwu as the new group managing director of NNPC.