Ibe Kachikwu, minister of petroleum resources, says President Muhammadu Buhari has not allocated a single oil block since he came into office, but when he eventually starts, south-south indigenes will have their share.
At a town hall meeting in Uyo, capital of Akwa-Ibom state, organised by the ministry of information and culture, a Nigerian asked the minister why oil block allocations favoured the north rather than the south-south, where most oil blocks are located.
Answering, Kachikwu said this was not the doing of President Buhari, emphasising that the president would follow due process in allocation of oil blocks when the time comes.
Kachikwu also disagreed with Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, on the establishment and maintenance of the Maritime University in Akwa-Ibom.
“I disagree with the minister of transport. Any facility in the south-south, we should work towards developing it, I don’t care the circumstance. It is not my business whether land was valued at 19 or 10 million,” he said responding to Amaechi’s claim that land for the university was valued at N13 billion.
“That has nothing to do with development of infrastructure. As far as I know, so much has already gone into that, so much fiscal asset has been developed. We are not going to throw away the baby and the bath water.
“We’ll deal with the issues but the university will be developed. If he (Amaechi) doesn’t want it in Maritime, I will take it in Petroleum.”
KACHIKWU DISAGREES WITH AMAECHI ON AVENGERS
“On the issue of negotiations, again I disagree with him. There’s no theatre in the world where conflicts are being resolved through battle. It doesn’t matter who’s right, who’s wrong.
“I have so many objectives; present production, generate the revenue, because if we don’t, all the things we are talking about here is just a joke.
“I will explore, and this is not weakness; the military strength of this country is not in doubt, and I think if anybody doubts that, just see what has happened to Boko Haram. We will first discuss, we will first negotiate, if it doesn’t work, we would know what to do.”
OIL BLOCKS WILL GO TO SKILLED INDIGENES
“In terms of the allocation of oil blocks to south-south indigene, since we came into position, the government has not allocated any block of petroleum. The president has not put any emphasis on that at all.
“He said we need to correct the mess before we begin to give advantage. Let me set something very clearly here; just like Udoma, I didn’t know the president before I got appointed here, never met him before, never spoke to him before.
“Recommendations and reputation brought me here. I haven’t been in government before, so I don’t know how it works, but since the day that I resumed, this president has never called me to give me the name of anybody, any Nigerian, north, south, east or west and say to me ‘you need to do some favour.’
“On the contrary, his emphasis is that there should be no favours. Make the right decisions and be able to defend it. On the issue of oil blocks, when the time comes, it will follow very due process.
“I’m one of those who believe there’s a need to see how the south-south and corridors would benefit, because that is part of giving back. I am sure that at the appropriate time those presented to him, he will listen to it.
“He will listen to it subject to the fact that those who have skills and the finances to develop the field will be allowed to develop the fields.”