16 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The ministry of petroleum resources has invited the economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to review all payments made for subsidies on premium motor spirit, PMS and Keroseneand to take all necessary steps to prosecute incidents of malfeasance, fraud, over invoicing and related illegalities in an open and transparent manner.
This was contained in a statement released by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources who pointed out that she had already en-panelled a unit in her office to begin a comprehensive review of management control in all parastatals within the ministry.
Other actions embarked upon includes a scheduled meeting with the National Assembly with a view to ensuring the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on which the comprehensive reform of the oil sector in the country would be anchored.
“With presidential approval, I have written to invite the EFCC to immediately review all payments made in respect to subsidies on PMS and Kerosene and take all necessary steps to prosecute any incidence of malfeasance, fraud, over-invoicing, and related illegalities in open and transparent manner.
“I have set up a unit within my office to be headed by an independent auditor to review the KPMG and other audit reports on NNPC and other parastatals, and immediately begin implementation of their findings, ensuring, at all times, full probity and value for money.
“I am en-panelling another unit in my office to begin a comprehensive review of the management controls within all parastatals in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, including but not limited to NNPC, PPPRA and DPR. Accordingly, I expect a report in 30 days to enable us take further action in reforming management, personnel and other practices and procedures in parastatals within the Ministry. It should be noted however that this process has already begun in PPPRA and DPR where management changes and reform are beginning to yield desirable results; and
“I will be meeting with the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the coming week to seek their cooperation and leadership in the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill so that we can anchor the comprehensive reform of the oil industry,” Alison-Madueke said in the statement.
In a letter addressed to the acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, Alison-Madueke pointed out that Nigeria had been operating a subsidy regime on import of petroleum products where the difference between the cost of importation and pump price was paid by the government at a pre-approved oil marketing company which she has the approval of the president to investigate.
“Over the years, this bill has grown exponentially to unsustainable levels. As Petroleum Minister, I have become extremely concerned with these figures and following the recent transfer of the PPPRA to my ministry last year, I have moved quickly to change management and inaugurate a comprehensive reform process which include drastic cuts in the list of importer, review of payments and procedures, as well as massive re-deployment of staff within the agency.
“To now deepen my reforms and ensure that we root out all forms of corruption and abuse within the subsidy regime. I have sought and obtained the approval of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to formally invite the EFCC to immediately review and investigate all payments made in respect of subsidies checked against actual importations and to take all necessary steps to prosecute any person(s) involved in any incidence of malfeasance, fraud, over-payment and related illegalities.”