Some civil society organisations on Wednesday in Abuja called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and her counterpart in the Finance ministry, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, based on the Report of the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Task Force, which alleged corruption in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
According local media reports, the groups also urged the President to sack the boards and management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company of Nigeria, Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency to give way for the total clean-up of the country’s oil and gas industry.
The Convener of United Action for Democracy, Mr. Jaye Gaskia, and Executive Director of African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, Mr. David Ugolor, at a press briefing, also threatened to mobilise Nigerians to stage a mass protest in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city, should the President fail to heed to their demands.
The groups said “Having added up the US$ 29 billion theft in the country’s oil and gas sector, price fixing, contract scams, an additional US$ 6 billion lost annually and the 250,000 barrels of crude lost daily for the past 10 years, according to the Ribadu report, what Nigeria lost was equal to the total budget for four years of the past 10 years.
“We had gone on to make some key demands, including sacking of the boards and management of the institutions of government implicated in the mind-boggling monumental fraud in the management of the fuel subsidy regime for 2011, a fraud which as at the time of the various probes, amounted to over 1.7 trillion (US$ 1 = 155 Naira), and just about 45 per cent of the 2011 federal budget. We had been clear about the fact that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its minister, as well as the NNPC, DPR, PPMC, PPPRA, bore direct and greatest responsibility in the monumental fraud.”
“We had also stated clearly that given that manifestation of the complete lack of coordination in the economy and among relevant agencies and institutions with respect to the management of the subsidy fund, combined with the fact that monies were signed and paid out from the federation account without the knowledge or authorisation of the minister of finance, who is also the coordinating minister of the economy, that her office bore indirect responsibility for the fraud and barefaced looting of the economy.
“We demand the sacking of all officials so implicated, and the trial of those with cases to answer. Additionally, we had demanded that all subsidy thieves and those who aided and abetted them should be speedily brought to trial and looted funds recovered.”