“I Do Not Recollect Buhari Being An Effective Petroleum Minister” -Int’l Experts Against Presidents Decision

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Experts have expressed concern about President Muhammadu Buhari decision to appoint himself as petroleum minister might make the ex-military ruler wield too much powers.

A research fellow in energy economics at the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, who was once an energy consultant to the Federal Government, Sola Kasim, suggested that the President, even though he had been adjudged as a man of integrity, should leave the job for someone else who is an expert in the sector, while he focuses on administration.

“To be brutally honest, I do not recollect Buhari being an effective petroleum minister. A very honest one, though. I venture to postulate that Buhari is the cleanest, least corruptible, petroleum minister Nigeria ever had,” he said.

Also, a director of governance programmes at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, a policy think tank in New York, Alexandra Gillies, said, “Being the President, he doesn’t have the time. It worries me from the scale of things that need to be done.

“If you don’t delegate, you’re not going to be able to make progress on all of those urgent fronts. From a governance standpoint, it’s not ideal. You need that [petroleum] minister to balance it out.”

In the same vein, a professor of African Studies at the University of Michigan, the United States, who specialises in oil and natural resource politics, Omolade Adunbi, told the International Business Times that being petroleum minister would take away the President’s gaze from other areas of the economy and governance.

He said, “He’s going to be dividing his time between looking at the petroleum sector and governing the nation, which I think is not the appropriate thing to do when the economy is in deep crisis.

“Buhari is not a petroleum engineer. He is not a technocrat. He is not a specialist on oil. So people can still successfully [steal] without him knowing. That’s why it’s important for him to appoint someone who knows the economics of oil as well as the politics to manage the industry and move it from where it is right now to where it can be an agent for growth.”

 

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