The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, (CACOL) has hailed the decision of the Senate to investigate Nigeria’s imminent loss of $10b as a result of fraudulent discounts and rebates granted by Federal Government officials in the process of oil and gas lease renewal.
In a release issued by CACOL’s Coordinator for Media and Publications Mr Otunuga Adegboyega on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Mr Debo Adeniran the anti-corruption centre stated: “This attitude of giving questionable waivers or rebates to players in certain critical sectors of the economy, predates the Buhari Administration and it remains an ill-wind. We had expected all this rubbish to end with the last administration since the present government ushered a positive era against the profligacy of the past. It would be recalled that one of the objectionable restructuring exercises introduced into governance by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration was to merge the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with the Presidency. We had always maintained that this does not encourage openness and accountability, especially when it is considered that proceeds from crude oil still remain the largest source of revenue for the nation. This is why the Senate, in this circumstance, is directing its accusing finger at Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, who has been fingered as the De-facto Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“One could understand the frustration of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) arising from the irregularities pertaining to these oil transactions. It must also be pointed out that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has willfully and deliberately refused to provide the Senate with relevant information and data relating to the ongoing oil and gas lease renewals.
It is believed that these irregularities may have resulted in the nation losing a whopping $10b. One can only imagine how this huge sum could have assisted the nation in overcoming its recent economic misfortune and pervasive poverty.”
The CACOL boss added: “In our own view, it is imperative that the Senate proceeds with its investigation of all transactions within this sector that have been characterized with this kind of illegal rebates and discounts. We also advocate for a review of all subsisting legal frameworks and processes necessary for the renewal of oil and gas leases as well as thorough and effective interrogation to unravel all that there is to know in this petroleum and allied business for Nigeria to recoup much of the funds and block all the leakages in the sector.”
Media Coordinator, CACOL
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