President Muhammadu Buhari has retained his portfolio as Petroleum of Minister. He has also announced Timipre Sylva as the Minister of State for Petroleum.
Nairametrics understands that while Sylva succeeded Ibe Kachikwu as the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, President Buhari will again serve as the Minister of Petroleum in his second term in as the President of Nigeria.
Prior to this development, there was an outrage among Nigerians and economy stakeholders when the President announced himself as the Minister of Petroleum during his first tenure.
In the course of the controversy, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court in Abuja, held that the appointment of President Buhari as Minister of Petroleum Resources did not contravene the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.
According to the judge, Buhari’s appointment would have been illegal but for the appointment of Kachikwu as Minister of State, who oversaw the day-to-day running of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Justice Mohammed made the declaration while delivering judgment in a suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba.
The controversy: Buhari, who served as Petroleum Minister under a military regime, had vowed to end corruption in the oil sector of Nigeria.
Experts, however, argued that the Nigerian leader isn’t an oil expert and keeping the crucial portfolio for himself will divert attention from his presidential duties at a time when Nigeria needs to revive its economy.
“Being the Petroleum Minister will take away his gaze from other areas of the economic and, of course, the political system in the country that he needs to focus on.
“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,” said Omolade Adunbi, a professor of African studies at the University of Michigan who specializes in oil and natural resource politics.