THE Department of Petroleum and Energy has seen a long line of secretaries appointed on acting positions and it’s about time the Government stops its deliberate action and appoints a permanent secretary.
Since 2000, the Department of Petroleum and Energy has been managed by three different acting secretaries.
They were Bernard Pawih 2004 to 2006, David Manau 2016 and Kepsey Puiye 2017 to 2018. Currently we have acting secretary Lohial Nuau. All these appointments were for three months.
The three-month appointments make the department incompetent, and removes its ability to serve and deliver the required services that are provided within the country’s petroleum sector.
Recently in the media we saw reports that the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General was not happy with the then acting attorney-general for not defending the State against a claim of around K200 million brought against the Department of Petroleum and Energy. That acting attorney-general was sacked.
So many outstanding issues like the ILG, clan-vetting and court matters have been left unattended because the Department of Petroleum and Energy lacks the kind of firm decision-making that only a permanent secretary can make with great confidence.
The department plays an important role in the country’s oil and gas sector and the government should appoint a permanent secretary so that he or she can settle issues and manage the development of the sector.
The annual petroleum and energy summit set for next month is an important event that focuses on the activity and growth of oil and gas. Therefore, the appointment of a permanent secretary for the department that oversees the sector is crucial.
The failure to appoint a permanent secretary shows the Government’s lack of responsibility and its unwillingness to be serious with a sector that plays such an important role in the country’s economic wellbeing.