… Why the former NNPC top shot was nominated
Former Minister of Petroleum, the embattled Diezani Allison-Madueke, may be a pariah in Nigeria; but her henchmen, especially those who stayed behind in the heat of her crisis, seem to be crawling back to prominence, interestingly, under the anti-corruption-vaunting President Muhammadu Buhari. On the ministerial list released by the President on Tuesday, July 22nd, one of the prominent names there is that of Goddy Jedy Agba, the former Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division (OMD), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
In the heydays of Diezani, Agba was the Lord of the Manor, the man in charge of the real cash cow, the Crude Oil Marketing Division and he superintended the multi-billion dollar oil-for-fuel swap deals. Before Diezani, Agba had been on the periphery of the oil industry since 1993 when he was appointed the personal assistant to the then Minister of State for Petroleum and Mineral Resources. Later, he was appointed the Head, Market Research, Crude Oil Marketing Department, NNPC; and in 1995 as the Head, Gas/Gas Liquids/Condensate Sales, GGLU Crude Oil Marketing Department, NNPC.
Five years later, Diezani was appointed Minister in then acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s first cabinet shake up in April 2010. It was in July 2012 that Agba was promoted Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division (OMD), NNPC, a position he held until his retirement in 2014 to join the governorship race of Cross River State, though he had three more years in service.
In few days, if Agba is appointed the Petroleum Minister, he will be seen as a national boon or disaster. He will be hailed as a round peg in a round hole or tirelessly maligned as the fig that lets down the leaf, the affliction that has to be concealed or expunged. Until then, Agba will stew in metamorphosis. The brilliant and very hardworking man dissolves into multiple identities characterised by the oil industry’s familiar bogeys, even as you read.
It would be delightful however, to see Agba succeed where others failed woefully but he needs generous doses of forthrightness to do that. He needs to be a man or the best form of the man that his employer, President Muhammadu Buhari wants him to become. Can he?
The first son of HRH Uti J.D. Agba, the paramount ruler of Obudu Area Council reputed to be the longest serving traditional ruler in Cross River State, Agba was in the People’s Democratic Party where he was the major financier for several years. He decamped to the APC in December 2015.
Now he has found favour in President Buhari and if his understanding of the oil industry, and financial support for the APC during the last elections are to be considered, Agba may be on his way to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources as substantive minister.