SUBSIDY PROBE: THIEVING CABAL FIGHTS BACK



20120423-080922.jpg The fuel subsidy probe report has opened a can of worms and is now being threatened | BY EMMANUEL OKUBENJI It has been gathered that agents linked to petroleum sector fraudsters have started moves to thwart the execution of the report that was submitted by the Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy probe. Several government officials, government agencies and private companies were indicted in the report. The report submitted by the Adhoc Committee on mismanagement of funds in the oil sector has made public the high level of corruption in the petroleum sector. It shows there is hardly any government official that is free from corruption. The report has also helped unveil the mystery surrounding the country’s inability to build refineries as huge amounts of money were being made on importation of our own crude oil. There are hopes that the publication of the report will help the citizenry to focus their attention on the petroleum sector. Sources said that promoters of oil marketing companies, ministers, assembly members and governors both serving and former that were indicted in the fuel subsidy scam are attempting to use their political connections to stall the implementation of the report’s recommendations. The Adhoc committee was set up by the House of Representatives to investigate the mismanagement of funds in the oil sector after the Federal Government’s attempt to remove oil subsidies on January 1, 2012 sparked up a nationwide revolt. The subsequent protests and strikes cost the nation an estimated N1trillion. The House of Representatives Committee which was chaired by Farouk Lawan, had last Wednesday submitted a report in which it recommended that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and 72 other firms should refund the sum of N1.07 trillion. The Committee alleged that this money was illegally paid to oil marketers. It also unravelled a lot of mismanagement of the subsidy funds. Indictees fight back Sources who spoke to Daily Times on the condition of anonymity alleged that some of the indictees, as part of efforts to escape the report’s recommendations have resorted to bribing main-stream journalists to stop publicising the issue. The sources however claim that the indictees are worried about social media platforms and online journalists. Our source also claimed that some of the indictees have infiltrated the House of Representatives and are even now making efforts to impeach the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal for refusing to halt the publication of the report. The head of the Adhoc committee Farouk Lawan is not left out as the there was a concerted effort to discredit him even before the report was submitted, moves that have intensified since last Wednesday. Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Zakari Mohammed, confirmed the high level machinations going on. “The attention of the House of Representatives has been drawn to calculated attempts by indicted firms and their backers in government to plot the removal and discrediting of the House leadership for allowing the subsidy report to get to the public without being doctored to spare them,” he said. Daily Times

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