President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that he will continue to head the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources in the his cabinet.

Addressing a group of selected reporters in New York on Tuesday, after his address at the Global Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, the President said: “I will remain Minister of Petroleum. “I will appoint a minister of State for Petroleum”.

The President explained that this step is being taken as part of efforts to sanitise Nigeria’s oil industry, which is said to be plagued by corruption, massive fraud, and crude oil theft.

He restated his determination to sanitise Nigeria’s oil industry and free it from corruption and shady deals adding that the first step in this direction had already been taken with the appointment of a new management for the NNPC and its subsequent reorganisation.

On the issue of the misappropriation of NNPC’s revenue under past administrationsPresident Buhari said the prosecution of those involved would soon commence.

On corruption matters, he pledged that the federal government will fight corruption, because it has been identified as the root of all problems hindering Nigeria as a nation.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for most part of his tenure, was also the Minister of Petroleum.

President. Buhari had promised to name his cabinet before the end of September.

On Wednesday, 29th September, an alleged list of the President’s ministerial nominees was leaked but it is yet to be confirmed if it is the genuine list from the Presidency

Names forwarded to the National Assembly would be screened and approved by the Senate before they are sworn in.

Already, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has indicated that the screening of the ministers would be thorough and comprehensive.

Mr. Saraki gave the hint while welcoming senators to plenary in Abuja after a long recess.

He said that screening of the nominees would be in-depth to ensure that only competent and qualified individuals only occupied the positions.

“As we await the list of ministerial nominees this week, we are prepared to treat the screening with dispatch but with thoroughness,” the Senate President said.

“I believe the presence of ministers will create the space for greater policy engagement with the executive arm of government.

“I want to urge you all my colleagues to ensure that what is uppermost in our minds as we begin the constitutional task of screening of ministerial nominees is the overall interest of our country.”

He added, “Once the list is submitted, let us ensure that we treat it with dispatch and thoroughness. We must not be held down by unnecessary politicking.

“The enormity of our national challenges at this time does not give room for pettiness or politics of vendetta.”

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