Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday, said he never claimed to have bagged a First Class degree in Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1978, contrary to claims by an online medium, Premium Times.
Kachikwu, in a statement signed by the Director, Press of the Ministry, Idang Alibi, also claimed that the Wikipedia page that was cited in the report cannot be used as an authentic source of referencing or verification of facts considering that anybody that has access to a Wikipedia page can also edit same to suit any narrative they want to claim or push.
“To buttress this fact, Kachikwu’s page has recently been re-edited recently by persons unknown to him and to us.
“On the presentation made at the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) cited by Premium Times, the substance of his assertions was to the effect that he had a first class performance in school and was emphasising on the need for hard work amongst youths to get them to the top of their game.
Alibi said Kachikwu neither misrepresented facts nor made the claims written in the publication.
“In the publication, the writer alleged that Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu misrepresented information about obtaining a First Class Degree from the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka, citing a presentation done at Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Abuja.
“We would like to categorically state that such claims are false and further from the truth.
“The official CV and resume of the Honourable Minister of State is in the public domain and has been submitted to various levels of Government and Parastatals.
“Also line 6, page 3 of the document herein attached clearly states that Dr. Kachikwu obtained a “Second Class Honours (Upper Division) degree” from the Faculty of Law in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he graduated as best student in 1978. In addition, no First Class Honours were awarded by UNN that year. However, he was on the list for best graduands with Second Class Upper Honours for that year”, Alibi said.
He added that Kachikwu was the best graduating student in the Nigerian Law School in the year 1979 (the first in class) with multiple prizes (winning 5 out of all 7 prizes given).
“In 1979, the Nigerian Law School had not begun a process of classifying its certificates. That begun many years later. However best graduands have subsequently now been classified in the First Class category by the Law School.
“For Harvard University, his CV correctly states that he was a Distinction graduate for the Master’s degree programme (First in Class) at Harvard University and that he obtained his SJD in a record time of one and a half years. The various academic awards received during his education days are clearly spelt out in his CV/Resume.
“In closing, the assertions in the publication are wrong and baseless and a careful check with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would have cleared this misrepresentation. By every measurement index, The Honorable Minister has performed outstandingly in his school work and has records to show for it.
Kachikwu has worked at the highest level of the Oil and Gas industry globally for over 3 decades and indeed lectured at respectable global institutions like University of Ife, Nigerian Law School and Harvard Law School.
He has since his appointment three years ago, first as Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), then as GMD/Honourable Minister of State, and now as Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, championed the change agenda in the Petroleum sector and changed the narrative on performance in the sector”, Alibi added.