It is not a good idea for the President to serve as both the minister of petroleum and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the former governor of the CBN.
Speaking at the 2023 Bank Directors Summit in Abuja, Sanusi claimed that since there was a petroleum minister in place when he was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, he could criticize Alison Diezani anytime she brought up the NNPC.
In the report which was made by Sahara Reporters, Sanusi said that the story is different now. He said that in the past eight years, if you talk about petroleum in the country, some people would see it as you are attacking the president since the President is the one acting as the petroleum minister.
He said, “Let me advise that this idea of the President being petroleum minister is not a good one. We have the last presidential minister of petroleum for eight years. When I was governor of the Central Bank, we had a petroleum minister. So when I talked about the NNPC, I could talk to Diezani.
“Now nobody can talk about petroleum because eight years if you talk, you are attacking the president. We need that buffer. Somebody has to be there. So a minister has to be there. Who is held accountable by Nigerians?”
It should be recalled that the former president Muhammadu Buhari had doubled as the minister of petroleum during his term in office.
When President Bola Ahmed Tinubu took over power, many had waited to see if he would appoint a minister of petroleum or follow in Buhari’s footsteps.
But when he appointed his ministers, Tinubu did not appoint a petroleum minister, which meant that he was retaining the position as a substantive minister of petroleum.