Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has announced he will be the new oil minister as he prefers to cover the post rather than trust anyone else dealing with the country's resource that makes up more than 70% of Nigeria's revenue. Upon taking office in May, Buhari vowed his administration would end widespread corruption in the country and recover millions of dollars worth of funds he alleged were stolen during previous administrations.
The leader also alleged that some 250,000 barrels of Nigerian crude oil are stolen every day and sold to other countries at higher prices. In order to stop illicit activities in the oil industry, Buhari replaced the whole board of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and temporarily banned some 113 vessels from taking crude oil from Nigerian ports.
The president was the country's oil minister back in the 1970s and was in charge of the Petroleum Trust Fund in the 1990s. "I intend to remain the minister of petroleum resources," he was quoted by Reuters as saying. He added that a state minister will oversee day-to-day issues related to the petroleum industry.
Buhari also admitted he was considering whether to break up the NNPC to eradicate corruption. "I haven't absolutely made up my mind about that," he said. "We want to see what we have done in reducing the size and redeploying most of the management. We want to see the impact of that before we decide further."
In a recent speech delivered at the 70th session of the United Nations Assembly in New York, the leader urged the international community to dismantle safe havens and repatriate stolen funds that he said belong to Nigeria.
Buhari said in July he would appoint a new cabinet in September, as he wanted to give priority to more pending issues, such as corruption and the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast. The Nigerian leader is supposed to announce a new cabinet in the upcoming days.