Bola Ahmed Tinubu has granted Nigeria’s first private crude oil export licence to Jack Rich, a presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the previous presidential election and a prominent party chieftain.
The licence, which the Federal Government issued through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NMRDPA), permits Jack Rich’s company, Belema Sweet Terminal, to run a crude oil export terminal in Rivers State with a capacity to export over 400,000 barrels per day.
It is worth noting that Jack Rich previously contested the presidential primaries alongside Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo, and other candidates last year.
This decision to reward Jack Rich with the first private crude oil export licence raises concerns about potential favouritism and nepotism within the political landscape. The timing and circumstances surrounding the granting of the licence, particularly considering Jack Rich’s affiliation with the APC and his participation in the party’s internal processes, suggest that this may be a move by Tinubu to continue to give the political elites and allies undue advantage to Nigeria’s wealth unfettered rather than a merit-based decision. Such actions erode trust and transparency in the political system and raise questions about the fairness and integrity of the process.