Oil workers in Nigeria have demanded good results in the petroleum industry as President Bola Tinubu assigned the Petroleum Ministry portfolio to himself. The President on Wednesday unveiled the portfolios of 45 ministers nine days after they were confirmed by the Senate in a week-long screening exercise.
Tinubu, like his predecessor, will head the petroleum ministry while a former Senator, Heineken Lokpobiri, is the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources.
The ministers will be sworn in by the President at the State House Conference, Aso Villa, Abuja on Monday at the State House Conference, Abuja.
A statement on Wednesday by the Director, Information Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey said the ministers could attend the ceremony with two guests each.
The General Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Lumumba Okugbawa, said there was nothing wrong with the President occupying the position of petroleum minister, The Punch reports.
He said, “All the ministers report to the President, so for him to hold the position of petroleum minister doesn’t really matter much. What we should demand is for him to perform. So it doesn’t really matter that he decided to hold that position.”
Okugbawa stated that former President Muhammadu Buhari occupied the same positions as President and petroleum minister, stressing that Tinubu could also handle the task.
“Since they’ve given somebody the position of Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, it doesn’t matter that the President is the petroleum minister. By the way, all the ministers report to the President,” he stated.
Commenting, a petroleum expert, Bala Zaka, said the petroleum minister must address the menace of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
He called on the government to formulate policies that would attract investments in the sector and consolidate full revitalization of the industry in line with global practices. “The new minister must demonstrate indignation to make sure that crude oil thefts and pipeline vandalism is stopped immediately with the goal to improve oil production.
“He must put his foot firmly on the ground and make sure all these issues bedeviling the industry are solved. He must provide immediate solutions to these issues and formulate policies because investors are running away due to the country’s poor business climate.’’
Also, a maritime lawyer, Emeka Akabogu, said, “If he is competent enough to be the president of Nigeria, then he is competent to also be the petroleum minister. Whether the President is competent enough or not is of no consequence he is the appointer, he is the commander in chief, so he has the prerogative of what to do and what not to do.’’
Akabogu, who is the Convener of the globally acclaimed OTL Africa Downstream, a leading initiative for downstream petroleum business in Africa, stated, stated, ‘’We can only hope that it is done effectively, we can only hope that the ministers of states that he has appointed are able to discharge their function.