The All Nigeria Peoples Party has described the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as a ‘centre’ of corruption in the country.
The party said this while reacting to the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenues Task Force Committee’s report, which revealed that Nigeria lost about N4.64tn over the last decade from cut-price deals between multinational oil companies and government officials.
According to the task force, mandated to verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc) payable to the Federal Government, NNPC gets an allocation of 445,000bpd of crude oil to refine locally but it has been selling the product at cut-down prices. The practice, the task force said, resulted in the country losing $5bn between 2002 and 2011.
The ANPP in a statement on Sunday in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, said the Presidency had tried to reduce the gravity of revelations by saying that because the Ribadu Committee had not formally submitted its report to the appropriate authority, the report in the public domain was suspicious.
The ANPP said, “However, we wish to ask whether the report of a forged Export Clearance Permit of more than one and a half billion dollar is also suspicious.
“Or the letter written by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, to President Goodluck Jonathan, promising to investigate the source of the discovered fake document in his ministry and brief the president accordingly (is also fake).
“On the other hand, we believe that the people have a lot to fear from the government if 24 million barrels of crude oil can afford to leave the shores of this nation under suspicious circumstances. We are also aware that coupled with the Reuters report of the deep graft in the NNPC, what we are faced with is capable of ridiculing us in the comity of nations.”
The ANPP therefore said instead of trying to sweep the revelation under the carpet, the government should own up to what it described as ‘the decade-old daylight robbery of the whole federation,’ and apologise to Nigerians. It also called for the prosecution of the indicted officials, private individuals and multinationals which participated in the rip-off.
The party appealed to the National Assembly to look at the report in order to ascertain the true situation of things, and to ensure that the “so-called committee set up to look into the Ribadu Committee’s report does not cover up vital facts which will help to exorcise the demon of corruption sucking the blood of this great nation with NNPC as the siphon.”