Buhari’s popular minister resigns few weeks to May 29 handover

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has resigned to seek governorship aspiration in Bayelsa state on the All Progressive Congress (APC) platform.

The state primary election is scheduled to take place on April 14, 2023.

According to Reuters, Sylva wrote his resignation letter last week to President Muhammadu Buhari but was kept private.

Sylva’s resignation comes at a time of political transition in Nigeria, with President Muhammadu Buhari serving his final weeks in office before giving way to President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29.

Sylva could not be reached for comment and the petroleum ministry declined to comment.

Sylva served as governor of Bayelsa for one full term between 2008 and 2012.

At the time, he was a member of the People’s Democratic Party, which was then in power at the federal level but is now in opposition.

Appointed junior oil minister in August 2019, Sylva oversaw major reforms in the oil sector, including the passing of legislation that overhauled the sector’s fiscal regime in a bid to spur investment.

During his time as minister, Nigeria’s oil output fell to its lowest in decades due to crude theft and pipeline vandalism.

Angola overtook Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer and exporter for a few months last year.