The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has officially resigned from the President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet few days after obtaining the Expression of Interest form to run for the 2023 presidential election.
Bitrus Nabasu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, is expected to steer the affairs of the Ministry pending the appointment of the new Minister.
The former Minister was part of the cabinet members who attended the farewell valedictory session organised by President Muhammadu Buhari for the outgoing Ministers in Abuja.
Recall that Sylva, on Monday, May 9 picked the N100 million presidential forms of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) despite various crises facing the petroleum industry including the ongoing fuel scarcity.
Other ministers who resigned after the valedictory service were Rotimi Amaechi (Minister of Transportation), Godswill Akpabio (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs), Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba (Minister of State for Education), and Abubakar Malami (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria)
Others are Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technological Innovation), Tayo Alasoadura (State, Niger Delta Affairs), Dame Tallen Paulen (Women Affairs), Uche Ogar (State, Mines and Steel Development),
Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed also confirmed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the validatory session at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
EnergyDay gathered that based on the Civil Service act, the permanent secretary who is the most senior civil servant in the ministry is expected to take over from the minister and pilot the affairs of the petroleum ministry.
However, President Buhari has also hinted that he plans to replace outgoing ministers immediately. But at the moment, Bitrus Bako Nabasu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, is expected to steer the affairs of the Ministry pending the appointment of the new Minister.
It remains in the prerogative of the President to appoint a replacement for Timipre Sylva, who until now, had served as minister of state while the President continued to retain a dual office as Petroleum Minister and the Executive President of the country.
Meanwhile efforts to speak with his Media aide, Julius Bokoru, proved abortive as call made to his contact was not returned as at period of filling this report.
Timipre Sylva was appointed by President Buhari on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, as the Nigerian Cabinet Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
Recall that one of the achievements of Sylva is the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which other previous administrations were unable to achieve over the years.
However Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant on Digital/New Media by President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that the two Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio and Alasoadura are leaving to pursue political ambitions (Presidency and Senate).
Tolu said, “That’s the only Ministry losing two Ministers. He noted that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta, Dr. Ardo Babayo Kumo, is also planning to contest for the governorship of Gombe State.