TORRID tales of massive looting perpetrated through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the stupendous wealth allegedly accumulated by Diezani Alison-Madueke have gripped a global audience.
Investigations into the murky deals that enriched the former petroleum resources minister and a clutch of wheeler-dealers while draining billions of dollars from the treasury are ongoing in three continents. Unless the Nigerian state immediately dismantles and replaces the system that allowed abuses on such a massive scale, the looting spree will persist.
The rottenness of that system, the opaqueness, the wide discretionary powers given to the president and the minister facilitated that massive fraud, kept the country under-developed and the majority of the people poor. President Muhammadu Buhari should move now and reform the oil industry. We restate our position that the reforms should start with the dismantling of the NNPC, a cesspool of fraud and corruption and a veritable cash dispensing machine for successive administrations since the mid-1980s.