05 November 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — THE various task forces set up by the Nigerian government to probe operations in nation’s oil and gas sector, including the Committee led by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, performed their duties without any form of interference from the Petroleum Minister, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said.
Speaking in Abuja at the presentation of reports of the three task forces (The Petroleum Revenues Task Force, Governance and Controls Task Force and the National Refineries Task Force) set up in February, Alison-Madueke dismissed insinuations that the government may have manipulated proceedings of the various committees with the aim of influencing their reports.
Said the minister: “Once the task forces were inaugurated, I let them do their work without let or interference.
“I never for once called in members to seek to influence them one way or another and I gave them full access to the parastatals, to deal with all elements of their terms of reference to the extent that some members have even said I was too aloof from their work.
“This was deliberate as we wanted full independence of thought and action for the task forces. Indeed, it has already been agreed with the task forces that within two weeks we will hold working meetings to review what we have done and what needs to be done going forward.”
She urged the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, now before the Assembly as a matter of urgency, maintaining that the recommendations of the task forces would be considered by the president and the Federal Executive Council, and that once approved they would be implemented.