12 December 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – An advocacy group, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to make public the audit report on the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and save the dwindling image of the country as a corrupt nation.
According to the group, though the Senate Joint Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Appropriation and Finance have done their bit and probed the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with damaging revelations on the sleaze around oil subsidy in Nigeria, the next step is for the President to save the nation’s image and make public the 41-page audit report on the Corporation.
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, in a statement issued yesterday stated that the revelation that some 100 companies in the downstream sector and in construction, shared over N1.426 trillion between January and August 2011 alone should be followed up with the public presentation of the audit report.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor said the 41-page Audit report on the NNPC, as provided by various social and on-line media, have further revealed that the NNPC had ‘deliberately’ turned the corporation into an established drain pipe on the nations’ oil and gas earnings, and an avenue for perpetrating corruption and fraud even as it released a leaked version of the damning Audit report.
“We call on President Goodluck Jonathan, to as a matter of urgency, officially release the Audit report on NNPC without any further delay to salvage whatever may be left of the administration’s image in the eyes of Nigerians and the international community.
“We have been calling on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to release the Audit report commissioned since July last year but we were not taken seriously. Now look at the startling revelations that keep tumbling in from the Joint Senate Committee sittings probing the operations of the NNPC. This is a national embarrassment,”.
“We commend the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly the Joint Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Finance and Appropriation carrying out this novel oversight function. We urge them not to be deterred as Nigerians are solidly behind them.We do not want to take the media version of the report yet that is why we are renewing our call on President Jonathan to do the needful. We learnt that the report has been hidden all these while, this is not good for a country that has signed on to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and was early this year, recognized as EITI compliant country,” the group said.
The Policy Officer of ANEEJ, Mr. Innocent Edemhanria said “As a group, working in the area of revenue transparency over the years which is committed to reversing the resource curse phenomenon of Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta, we are appalled that Mr. President and the Minister of Petroleum Resources could afford to keep the Audit report on the NNPC under the carpet over the past one year,”
“But for the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Executive arm of government would have been carrying on with the sleaze in the NNPC. Nigerians have been vindicated with the revelations from the Senate Joint Committee that government knows those who have been shortchanging Nigerians regarding the fuel subsidy. Yet, they boast of still wanting to proceed with the removal of subsidy. This is a shame.”