18 November 2013, Sokoto — Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, has asked Nigerians to rise up and insist on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation operating transparently and in the overall interest of the nation and its people.
Ribadu, who spoke at a retreat organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in Sokoto State, weekend, decried the penchant by the corporation to conduct its operation in an opaque manner, thereby preventing Nigerians from knowing what happens in the national oil outfit.
The former police boss said that Nigeria was one of the few countries in the world where the activities of its oil company were largely transacted in secrecy and global best practices that guide such operations around the world thrown overboard.
Ribadu said it was also wrong for the Federal Government to handle the NNPC as a personal estate leaving out states and local governments from its operations.
He said: “Today, the NNPC is a producer, an importer, a marketer and a regulator paying to the Federal Government what it likes at any time and treating the states and local governments in Nigeria as if they have no stake in the establishment.
“Let me say that states are very important because of the essential roles they play in the development of the communities and the lives of Nigerians. They should therefore, be allowed to have a say in what goes on in the NNPC.”
Nyako on democracy
Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, who spoke on means of deepening democracy and good governance in Nigeria, noted that it would amount to a waste of time and energy if government did not meet the basic needs of the electorate in Nigeria.
Nyako blamed the rising wave of insecurity in the land on frustration arising from joblessness and poverty coupled with soaring impunity that had not been punished by relevant agencies over time.
The governor said: “We have to work towards engendering a sound justice system that punishes those that act with impunity and do away with the current regime where everybody gets away with crime due to the corrupt nature of the society.
Setting targets for Police
“Policemen and other security agencies must be given targets in crime prevention. Poor investigation, prosecution and conviction of criminals give rise to impunity and weaken democracy and good governance.
No fewer than 15 governors converged on Sokoto brainstorm on measures and policies that could deepen democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
*Soni Daniel, Vanguard