Lagos - Restoring normalcy in the problem-riddled petroleum industry could be the foundation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s legacy, a leading international financial think-tank said on Wednesday.
Days after his inauguration as the head of state of the continent’s biggest oil producer, it was reported Buhari, who has previous experience as an administrator in the industry, was likely to keep the oil portfolio to himself amid a myriad of problems afflicting the sector.
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Global Markets, the economic think-tank, believes the move could be a masterstroke if the challenges are resolved..
“Aside from pursuing stability to the northern plains, Mr Buhari, who worked as the Federal commissioner of oil and headed up the state-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Industry in the 1970s, could take a personal interest in the structural reformation of the oil industry,” RMB stated.
Buhari has broad knowledge of the oil sector, having been head of the Petroleum Trust Fund under military ruler Sani Abacha in the 1990s and oil minister in the 1970s under Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We believe that the eradication of corruption within the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC), the suppression of oil leaks, the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will form the cornerstone of Buhari’s presidential legacy.”
Nigeria’s oil industry is beset by numerous problems from thefts and leakages that cost the government significant amounts on foreign currency yearly and rampant corruption.
A recent shortage of the commodity almost brought industry to a standstill.
- CAJ News