Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has said that although his former job was more rewarding financially, he decided to serve Nigeria for the love of his fatherland.
He said in Abuja on Sunday that all hands must on deck to build enduring institutions that would secure the future of the country and improve on the standard of living of Nigerians.
“I believe that this country needs help. I believe that it is about time we began to perform for the young and upcoming.
“I believe that the sheer capacity of this country is unimaginable. I do not know of any country in the world with our population, our resources, our intellect, our flamboyance, our family nexus, everything is together.
“The call to public service for me was unique. I was Vice President of Exxon Mobil West Africa and I was suddenly called to serve. In serving, I lose a lot of money, if not at least a million dollars every year by virtue of being a minister, but the thing is, I am directed by the voice of God,” he said.
According to him, the current economic crunch in Nigeria can be surmounted with the right leadership, adding that Nigerians would not feel the impact of the challenges posed by drop in the price of oil if government properly harnessed other natural resources.
“Everything in this country is together; the only thing that is not together is leadership and in God’s name, we are bound to change that.
“In every little space that you have, and in my own case petroleum, you have to make an absolute change and so I am not worried about price of oil.
“It can be five dollar for all I care. I am worried about the direction of the industry; I am worried about changing things the way they have never done before.
“I am worried about creating opportunities that exist; I am worried about improving the standards of living; I am worried about encouraging opportunities in the sector. I am worried about opening up those opportunities that have existed for years,” he said.
Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), called on Nigerians to embrace the new philosophy of the present administration geared towards charting a new course for the country.
He called on Nigerians to bury their differences and contribute their quota to the development of the country.