22 August 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The House of Representatives is set to investigate activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Petroleum Regsources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency over allegations of fraud, abuse of due process and irregularities in the award of oil blocks since 1999.
A statement by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Suleiman Kawu said the investigation was necessitated by petitions from the oil sector.
He listed areas where the alleged frauds were noticed to include awards of crude oil lifting, round tripping, lack of due process in oil block allocations, bloated budgetary allocations and breach of procedures in crude oil lifting.
He said the House was in possession of numerous documents and petitions on the alleged frauds.
The statement reads, “We have in our possession documents on all transactions, the companies involved and individuals accused of different degrees of breaches of laid down rules and procedures, fraud, connivance and bribery in the oil industry.
“It therefore behoves on us, as the elected representatives of our people and in furtherance of good governance and transparency in our public institutions, to engender an envisaged positive goal that will satisfy the yearning and expectations of our people.
“Arising from intense consultation and unanimity of majority of members of the House of Representatives and pursuant to the constitutional powers vested in the parliament as enshrined in Sections 88(1) a, b sub-sections 1, 11 and in consonance with the request of major stakeholders in the industry, it is imperative for us to take a cursory look into the way and manner the industry is governed.”
He said the proposed probe would not refrain from apportioning blames or reprimanding anybody whose conduct was not found to be above board, adding that the House would, as soon as it resumed, set up “an ad hoc committee to carry out the investigation.”
He, therefore, called on the general public and other well- meaning Nigerians to furnish the proposed committee with useful information that could assist the House in performing its constitutional responsibilities.