Fools occupy space but only great men inhabit the emptiness. Thus it takes a man like Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu to ornament with ease, the Nigeria’s persistent fuel scarcity. Kachikwu, like the proverbial bearer of light in a state of undying eclipse, has resolved the lingering fuel woes of the citizenry. Thus contrary to fears that the recurrent fuel crisis may persist for a long while, Premium Methylated Spirit (PMS) is currently available across the country. Kachikwu, the nation’s Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has efficiently seen to that.
From the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to Lagos and other parts of the country, fuel is available at all the filling stations and fuel depots. Residents of Lagos, a city known as the commercial nerve centre of the country, heaved great sigh of relief as they throng the filling stations across the coastal city’s island and mainland to purchase PMS at regulated prices of N86.50k. It is the same situation across the country as the citizenry shrug off the pains inflicted on them by the lingering fuel scarcity of the last few weeks to purchase the PMS without hassles even as you read.
Pundits acknowledge Kachikwu’s ingenuity at resolving the fuel scarcity. They commend him for being quick to understand that it would take unusual measures to rectify the unusual quandary presented by the lingering fuel scarcity. Kachikwu, despite the harsh criticisms directed at him in the wake of the fuel scarcity, has distinguished himself as a man worthy of the high offices he occupies. Indeed, Kachikwu’s sterling attainments in the public offices he occupies are emblematic of that rare stock he hails from. Like the fabled champion and performer of grand feats that never measures the height of a mountain, until he reaches the top, Kachikwu does not cow to challenges simply because they seem too insurmountable at first sight. Ultimately, he is a problem solver as indicated by his recent resolution of the country’s fuel crisis.
Emmanuel Kachikwu is no doubt exceptional. It would be recalled that he dazzled the citizenry en route his appointment into the driver’s seat of the nation’s oil sector. For over one hour, the Kachikwu dazzled lawmakers of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber from the hot seat during the ministerial screening for the position he currently occupies. The intense conference of parliamentarians and President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees established the depth and brilliance of the NNPC boss who took his time to enlighten the lawmakers about issues pertaining to country’s ailing oil sector.
Kachikwu answered questions varying from the controversial oil subsidy, ailing refineries, revivification of the NNPC and increasing crude oil production for the country’s benefit.
In a candid presentation that highlighted positive changes for the oil and gas sector, Kachikwu established the fact that he hit the ground running as the NNPC’s new boss; leaping from the springboard of significant work he had done since his resumption at the NNPC. Citing corruption as a major problem in the NNPC, he stated that to curtail its spread, he has cancelled numerous contracts in the oil corporation which he found suspicious. Another major problem he discovered in the NNPC was structure. Most of the NNPC’s revenue, he stated, was spent on overhead costs, exceeding the expenses of four states combined. So far he has downsized at the upper and middle level of the corporation with significant results.
Speaking with unequal depth and honesty, Kachikwu informed the House of his plans to improve the fortunes of the oil sector. He is no doubt doing so well at that. A Doctor of Law, Kachikwu graduated with distinctions from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and the best graduating student from the Law School, winning seven of the available nine prizes in 1999. He holds the LLM Harvard Distinction and was best graduate in 1980 with specialisation in Energy, Petroleum Law and Investment.
Kachikwu set a record with a Ph.D/SJD Harvard Distinction, specialising in Petroleum and Investment Law Strategie after completing his doctoral thesis in a record time. With a H.Dip.T.L from Georgetown, the United States of America (USA), the new NNPC chief executive is a Fellow, Society for Corporate Governance (FSCG); Chartered Institute of Arbitration (FCIArb); Chartered Institute for Petroleum Policy (FCIPP) and a Visiting professorship in various universities in the world including Harvard Law, his alma matter.
Kachikwu has more than 30 years experience in policy- making positions in petroleum industry including; General Counsel/Legal Adviser, Texaco Nigeria and Texaco Overseas Petroleum Co (1984 -1994); General Counsel/Secretary, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (2001); Executive Director, ExxonMobil Group of Companies (2003).
He has been the Executive Vice Chairman/General Counsel, ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria and Oversight Counsel, ExxonMobil Companies in Africa since 2009 and his accomplishments include the authorship of several law books including the best seller , “Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy” and over 20 other publications.
Kachikwu Influenced over $10 billion investment from ExxonMobil Group into Nigeria and other African countries and it is on record that he set major policy planks on government relationship, investment policy and corporate governance for ExxonMobil in Africa and member of many highly influential policy and investment teams for ExxonMobil Corporation.
He served as a lead negotiator on diverse issues for ExxonMobil in Africa including conclusion of Lease Renewal Negotiations for Mobil Producing and facilitated solid contacts in Global Energy Sphere with contacts to most Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of multinational petroleum corporations and secretaries of energy for key national country players for more than 25 years.