Nigerian Oil Sector: Accountability will return, Ribadu assures Nigerians

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    Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC)

    The Nigerian Petroleum Industry will undergo a major organisational transformation, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the Chairman, Petroleum Revenue Task Force, has assured.

    He promised that his task force would ensure the return of accountability and transparency in the psyche of the nation’s petroleum sector in line with the moral dictate and to the expectations of the generality of Nigerians.

    Ribadu made the pledge on Tuesday in Abuja after the inauguration of the 20- member special task force by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

    “We shall work diligently to meet the expectations of Nigerians; we seek to renew efforts by promoting values that support a new dawn of business conduct in the sector.

    “ We shall ensure that those who play by the rules enjoy all the best support and the unscrupulous players get a red card.’’

    The former EFCC boss decried the lack of transparency in the petroleum sector and appealed to Nigerians to support the task force in achieving its mandate.

    Petroleum Minister Madueke had charged the team to work with world class consultants to put together systems across the production chain to determine and monitor crude oil production and exports, as well as the integrity of payments made to the federal government.

    Reading the part of the terms of reference for the task force, the Minister noted that, the task force is set to “to take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing and to obtain agreement and post payment terms by all industry players.”

    They are also “to design debt matrixes for all departments and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum resources and develop an automated platform to enable effective tracking and monitoring online validation of income and debt drivers of all parastals and agencies within the ministry.”

    Mallam Ribadu and Allison_madueke

    Mallam Nuhu Ribadu agreed there was the need to bring value and balance to the nation’s economy through improved standards of public conduct.

    In his statement, the former EFCC boss stated that “the task force will design a sort of memorandum that will promote fairness in the oil and gas sector.”

    He also explained that the team was well aware of all terms in the constitution of the task force as part of the effort to collect the public and administration in a new level of accountability.

    “Part of the challenge of moving forward and breaking new part is to understand the imperatives of constantly renewing faith with our fellow citizen by empowering them with values of public accountability and responsibility” he added.

    Some members of the twenty-two man committee include former Head of service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba.

    Mr Ribadu until his appointment was serving the United Nations office in Kabul, the Afghanistan capital where his experience as the anti-corruption czar came to bare.

    Mr Ridabu was the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 presidential election. The party declined to endorse his acceptance of the appointment saying if he does, he did out of his own choice.

    Ribadu assured that the committee would perform and described the members as thorough breed professionals, ready to contribute to national development.

    Earlier, Alison-Madueke had called for recommendations that would  bring reforms to the petroleum sector.

    “Our journey to transformation is irreversible, our mission is to transform the petroleum industry and in doing so change the way business is currently done within this sector.

    “Our purpose is to enhance the commercial and technical viability of the sector, inculcating full transparency and accountability and thereby ensuring value for money for the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’

    She gave the task force 60 working days to complete the assignment and submit its report.

    The terms of reference of the task force include working with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties) due and payable to government.

    The task force is also expected to submit monthly reports for ministerial review and further action.

    Sources: Channelnews/NAN