ON Thursday, Dec 3, Al-Qabas daily published a news report on its front page, in which it stated that the minds of the so-called officials of the oil sector believe they and their colleagues are the ones who feed this country due to the fact that they work in a sector that deals with the main source of income for this country.
Due to such a mentality, they justify their astronomical financial privileges they receive, either while working in their air-conditioned offices or in the oil fields or shipping platforms and ports, supervising contract workers.
These astronomical financial benefits continue with them even after their retirement. They are neither taxed and deducted in any way, rendering officials of major petroleum companies such as BP, Total or Exxon to envy them. In fact, one of the officials of these companies had jokingly told me this years ago, and I bet he would faint if he heard about the actual level of generosity that has reached now … however, this is not our topic.
Our topic for today is regarding the tyranny of those officials, even over those who are politically responsible for them including the one who heads them by virtue of his position … here I mean Kuwait’s Minister of Oil.
The current minister Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel feels that even his office has been infiltrated by the untouchables of the Kuwaiti petroleum industry, headed by its chief of the “sea view corporation”, meaning the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s building overlooking the Gulf!
The minister had issued a decision to transfer the subordination of the office of the chairperson of the board of directors of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its employees, to be under the chairperson of the board of directors (the minister), which is away from the executive body of the corporation.
According to the news report, “The decision did not satisfy some of the oil kingpins because they will lose access to the chairperson’s correspondence, meetings, decisions and interviews, as the case was in the past through the management of this office, especially since the decision emphasized the secrecy of the office’s work and documents.”
We urge the minister to remember that it is better late than never. This decision was supposed to be taken on the first day he took over the oil ministry’s portfolio and the chairmanship of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
These oil kingpins have thrived because no one dared to deal with them accordingly, hence allowing them to do whatever they want in the corporation.
I believe that most of the decisions taken in this regard will be reviewed in terms of financial and administrative aspects by the honorable minister – if he returns to continue with the oil sector portfolio – or a new minister who will be announced in the coming few days. This is because the matter has become too much, and the testimony to that are the actions of the current officials of the oil sector. I have warned!
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil