Youths of the Niger Delta, under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Process (NDYCPP), are fine-tuning arrangements to host Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to a grand reception.
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Pastor Tiedo Olayinka-Jude, President of the NDYCPP, a coalition of youth leaders from the nine states of the region, disclosed the plan on Sunday while speaking with reporters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He said the grand reception was in honour of Kachikwu’s “superlative performance in office”, describing the minister as “an astute public administrator from the Niger Delta.”
Olayinka-Jude lauded Kachikwu’s achievements in office, saying the reforms he introduced had resulted in the transformation of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
He said that under Kachikwu, Nigeria had become an influential member of the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) and secured increased quota for the country to earn more from oil sales.
According to him, the recent re-election of the minister as president of African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) for a record third time was an indication of the respect the country had been commanding under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Olayinka-Jude noted that the coming on board of Kachikwu, first as Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), pushed up the performance index in the oil and gas sector to new heights of effectiveness and efficiency.
He also observed that the minister had changed the narrative of the sector to an upward swing with the management of NNPC and other relevant subsidiaries of the ministry.
The NDYCPP leader said, “They have been able to eliminate the perennial fuel queues across the country to a large extend, stabilise the price regime of petroleum products, increased oil export.
“Oil output rose from an abysmal low level of about 800,000 barrels per day in 2016 to over two million barrels per day, brought peace and stability to the often volatile Niger Delta.
“Kachikwu approached the job with his diligent and cerebral analytical approach on how issues are being addressed, bringing in his huge wealth of international exposure and experience to bear.”
He further said that Kachikwu achieved all these because of the goodwill he enjoyed among the people, especially the youths, irrespective of party affiliation.
He noted that Kachikwu was viewed as a thorough-bred technocrat, who is sincere and caring about the development of the region, unlike the typical self-seeking politician.
Olayinka-Jude said that the minister also enjoyed the support of Niger Delta governors in his efforts at galvanising the international oil companies (IOCs) to adhere to best international practice in their dealings with host communities.
“These efforts are aimed at forestalling avoidable frictions in the operations of oil firms; boosting the ease of doing business and investors confidence and the nation’s image internationally,” he added.