Fuel Subsidy Probe Report Must Not Be Treated With Kid Gloves-CSOs



Once again,Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have spoken vehemently about the need to act the findings of the Farouk Lawan-led  House of Representatives Adhoc  Committee on fuel subsidy payments.The groups namely Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, (CISLAC), and Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)   said in statement this morning that “The findings from the report are shocking and as such should not be treated with kid gloves .From the probe of the government agencies to the marketers; it shows that the words of the late President Yaradua about a cabal in the industry is true as this has  been made clear by the report. The report has further helped in unmasking the initially faceless group that had been bleeding the nation most to the pint of death. How can you justify the fact that a vessel that was purportedly paid for bringing refined products to Nigeria on Nigeria sea and had  its transactions recorded by the  NNPC, FMF, PPPRA, DPR, CBN and all the relevant agencies when that same vessel was berthed in the South African seas the same date and period?”

The CSOs also expressed concern over the level of impunity at NNPC. They are particularly worried “That NNPC set up by Nigeria as her National Oil company appears to be more powerful than the laws and the people for whose sake it was set up is worrisome. How can you explain a situation in which a company abuses its powers with impunity, disregarding a presidential directive and flouting constitutional provisions and yet no one has been sacked or prosecuted over such gross violations?”
Faith Nwadishi (Publish What You Pay, Nigeria) Babatunde Oluajo (Zero Corruption Coalition) Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani) (Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre) who issued the statement added that “the need for a Nigerian content PIB has been brought again to the fore with the findings of the committee. At this stage, can we continue to rely on international companies to dictate the pace for us as Nigerians or must we take the bull by the horn and begin to manage our own resources?

In a related development,they also called on South -South leaders who are meeting about now to take a position on this report as a matter of priority. “Perhaps, it is divinely planned that the SOUTH SOUTH governors will be holding the second regional economic summit here in Asaba starting today, 26th April, 2012. We recommend that the report should form part of the agenda. The organizers and participants especially South South citizens must ensure that the report does not suffer the fate of other numerous reports. The report must be discussed and the people of the South-South should take a stand and make their position known to the nation. Nigerians and the world are interested in this report and the representatives of the people must ensure that they take forward the feelings and views of the people”,the CSOs said.

Read the statement below:

PRESS RELEASE ON THE FINDINGS OF THE REPORT OF THE FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON THE FUEL SUBSIDY PROBE BEING DEBATED BY THE HOUSE: CONCERN FOR NIGERIANS:

 

Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, (CISLAC), and Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)  join Nigerians to heave a sigh of relief with the submission, publication and discussion of the Federal House of Representatives committee’s report on the fuel subsidy probe and commend the members of the committee lead by Hon. Farouk M. Lawan and the leadership of the House for not keeping the findings of the report secret as would have been the wish of those fingered; as many Nigerian had feared going by the fate of previous probe reports

We may recall that from the 1st of January 2012, when PPPRA announced the total removal of petroleum subsidy, Nigeria has not been the same; the mass protest by the majority of Nigerians which resulted in the loss of lives and property, loss of work hours, we can go on counting the losses from which we are yet to recover. On the 8th of January, 2012 a committee was set up by the Federal House of Representatives and from 16th January to 9th February, 2012, the work of the committee commenced with Nigerians watching.

We have waited patiently for the committee to complete its work and make its findings public. The first part of the wait is over; the second part being for the deliberations and then for the implementation to the latter all the recommendations from the report.

Perhaps, it is divinely planned that the SOUTH SOUTH governors will be holding the second regional economic summit here in Asaba starting today, 26th April, 2012. We recommend that the report should form part of the agenda. The organizers and participants especially South South citizens must ensure that the report does not suffer the fate of other numerous reports. The report must be discussed and the people of the South-South should take a stand and make their position known to the nation. Nigerians and the world are interested in this report and the representatives of the people must ensure that they take forward the feelings and views of the people.

The findings from the report are shocking and as such should not be treated with kid gloves .From the probe of the government agencies to the marketers; it shows that the words of the late President Yaradua about a cabal in the industry is true as this has  been made clear by the report. The report has further helped in unmasking the initially faceless group that had been bleeding the nation most to the pint of death. How can you justify the fact that a vessel that was purportedly paid for bringing refined products to Nigeria on Nigeria sea and had  its transactions recorded by the  NNPC, FMF, PPPRA, DPR, CBN and all the relevant agencies when that same vessel was berthed in the South African seas the same date and period?

That NNPC set up by Nigeria as her National Oil company appears to be more powerful than the laws and the people for whose sake it was set up is worrisome. How can you explain a situation in which a company abuses its powers with impunity, disregarding a presidential directive and flouting constitutional provisions and yet no one has been sacked or prosecuted over such gross violations?

The need for a Nigerian content PIB has been brought again to the fore with the findings of the committee. At this stage, can we continue to rely on international companies to dictate the pace for us as Nigerians or must we take the bull by the horn and begin to manage our own resources?

The role that consultants play either at foreign or local transactions has also been highlighted. The engagement of consultants without due process or regard to relevant laws and policies, without regard to expertise and experience is again brought to bear on the complexities of the findings from the committee. Politics must no longer be played with our natural resource and common wealth, while some are getting richer and the majority of citizens are getting poorer.

The probe covered activities around subsidy on petroleum products from 2009 -2011 and a total sum of ₦1.07 Trillion ($6.7 Billion at ₦158.88/$1) was identified to have been illegally deducted from the federation account; some were illegally appropriated thereby causing a loss to Nigeria.

This amount would have been able to build at least152, 434 blocks of six classroom in Nigeria at an average cost of ₦ 7 Million.00 i.e 197/LGA in the 774 LGAs of the country.

If applied to the health sector, the same amount would have been used to build 197 health centers in each LGA in the country. This amount could have been used to solve our energy crisis, create jobs for the teeming youths, save the most important road in Nigeria; the East-West road, Benin-Ore highway is now a death trap.

The recommendations of the House committee are not different from the recommendations made by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Imitative (NEITI) over the years. There is gross indiscipline in the management of our resources; people who have been given responsibilities are either not aware of provisions that govern their duties or refuse to adhere to such laws guiding their conduct. We have been betrayed and stabbed on the back by those we entrusted our resources and ask that all those who still have an iota of human dignity somewhere in their hearts should honorably resign before they are disgraced and kicked out of office.

We call on the House of Representatives and its leadership not to be intimidated and cowed into doing anything other than exhaustively debating the report, establishing and approving the recommendation that are tenable and insist on the full implementation of the final outcomes without fear or favour.

At this stage, the ball is in the court of the His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (recently voted among the first 100 influential people globally) to summon the courage and exercise the political will to ensure that the recommendations are implemented; so that the lives of those lost during the subsidy removal protest would not have gone in vain.  This step would be a fast route to the transformation destination of his administration and the realization of the Vision 20-2020.

Signed:

Faith Nwadishi                                   (Publish What You Pay, Nigeria)

Babatunde Oluajo                   (Zero Corruption Coalition)

Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani)       (Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre)

The breakdown of the sum below;

 

No tags for this post.