Demands Buhari to give accountability on petroleum industry
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Tuesday, called on the National Assembly to summon management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for a public hearing over audited report on the corporation.
The call was made in a statement signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, and made available to Vanguard, where it pointed out that over the years, there had been several reports on activities of the Corporation – including commissioned inquiries, audits, and investigations that have stressed transparency and accountability as crucial elements behind the inefficiency and corruption in the Corporation.
These are responsible for the hemorrhage on revenue flows and oil production that have earned Nigeria’s oil sector a not-too-favorable reputation both locally and internationally.
The statement also recalled that successive governments and leaderships of the NNPC had come out with several commitments, vows, promises, even policies on how the magic will be done in the operations of the corporation but to date has been to no avail. “All we see is bad to the worse situation both in the structure of the operations and the accountability issues associated with the operations of the corporation.”
According to the statement, this current audit report that was released recently by the corporation has shown how much the country has been losing through the operations of the corporation through some very obvious inefficient practices as seen in the reports.
The statement reads in part, “The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, is dedicated to efforts towards promoting transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. We are encouraged by the increased recent emphasis of the NNPC on transparency, accountability, and inclusion.
“These resources that we see in this report are the resources needed to lift the citizens of this country out of penury. It is quite disheartening that these resources are wasted leaving the people suffering in abject poverty. This act needs to be brought to justice else the claim of fighting corruption would have suffered another dangerous setback.
“We call on the National Assembly to summon the Leadership of the corporation to a public hearing on this report. There is a need for the responsible personnel to answer to this level of mismanagement and also allow the public to interrogate them on all that has been going on in the system for this long.
“We also use this opportunity to draw the attention of the National assembly to their legislative functions in this sector. To date, there is no proper law governing the sector. We call on the National Assembly to speed up the effort to pass the petroleum Industries Bill immediately to curb all these menaces.”
CISLAC also demanded that the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, BPSR, should begin urgent reforms on the corporation, which it demanded accountability and stewardship on the petroleum industry from President Muhammadu Buhari as the nation’s Petroleum Minister.
“We also want to call out the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) to the fact that some of the agencies in Nigeria are nothing but a drainpipe, siphoning the limited resources away than contributing to the development of the country. There is a need for an urgent reform process in such agencies.
“We want to call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the substantive Minister for petroleum Resources to give an account of his stewardship in the petroleum industry performance since his resumption in power to date.
“We call on the office of the auditor general of the Federation to maintain a routine of this audit yearly as this will go a long way to show how much the yearning of the citizens over the years for proper restructuring of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria”, it demanded.
It also concluded by calling on all stakeholders to remain resolute and determined to ensure accountability and transparency are instituted in the petroleum sector for the betterment of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“Finally, we call on all stakeholders to be more focused, determined and united in our demand for transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector work to ensure that the long process of legislative reform has brought to forum dawn on laws that will assurance as a regime of accountability in the sector. We in CISLAC will continue to speak and mobilize until the needful is done”, it added.