Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says it is distressing that the letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari was leaked.
In the letter, which was circulated on social media on Tuesday, Kachikwu notified the president of the alleged insubordination of Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He said he was being sidelined based on allegations that he is corrupt, anti-north and conspiring with militants.
Kachikwu also accused Baru of not consulting with the NNPC board.
But in a statement which Idang Alibi, director of press in the ministry of petroleum, issued on his behalf,
“The attention of the ministry of petroleum resources has been drawn to a publication on a memo emanating from the honourable minister of state for petroleum resources to the president,” the statement read.
“The communication under reference is a normal procedural correspondence by the minister to the president relating to developments in parastatals under his supervision.
“It is most distressing to the ministry of petroleum resources that a confidential communication to the President on the performance of one of its parastatals can be made public.
“The focus of the communication was on improving efficiency and deepening transparency in the oil and gas sector for continued investor confidence.
“It is noteworthy that the President has been fully supportive of the efforts of the Ministry to entrench good governance and accountability in the oil and gas sector.
“The ministry of petroleum resources remains focused on achieving measurable progress in the implementation of the ongoing oil sector reforms in line with the mandate of the president.”