Ribadu, Oronsanye trade words over Petroleum sector report before Jonathan
The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsanye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to President Goodluck Jonathan with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.
The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also accused Mr Oronsanye of accepting an appointed as a member of the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while the committee was investigating the company and others in the oil sector.
He said: “Steve Oronsanye never participated one day in the deliberations of this committee. Not even a single day. He never”
Mr Ribadu added that: “the first time we saw Steve was at the end of the work when we were talking about recoveries from companies that he jumped in and he got in.”
He defended his position, saying “all the members (of the committee) are here, they can bare witness to what I have said.”
Mr Ribadu said that apart from Mr Oronsanye who accepted an appointed as a of Directors in the NNPC, another member of the committee, Bernard Oti also accepted an appointment as NNPC’s Director of Finance while the committee’s investigation lasted.
Mr Ribadu told the president that “this recommendation is for you to use. It is your work. You thought it wise to bring people from outside to help you look at the industry critically and give an honest opinion.”
Mr Oronsanye, the former Head of Service, who had urged the President not to accept the report claiming some of the figures in the draft report were “unreconciled figures” and that institutions responsible for the figures, such as the Department of Petroluem Resources (DPR) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) were not consulted.
He also alleged that the report that was presented to the President was rushed and was not presented to the committee before it submitted.
President Jonathan in his remark gave the assurance that despite the rancour between members of the committee, his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.
He said the country need to get its oil industry right because, a lot African countries on the shorelines are now discovering crude “and if we do not get our acts together, investors will just take their money to these countries.”
The Ribadu led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force was appointed in February and was given 60 working days to deliver their mandate of enhancing integrity and accountability in the petroleum industry.
The 146-page report produced by the committee was earlier in the week leaked to Reuters News agency, revealing that the nation loses out on $29 billion on cut-price gas deals from the year 2002 to the present.
Meanwhile, the former EFCC boss has been reacting on the leakage of the report to the public before presentation.
Answering questions from reporters after the submission of the reports, he said there is no difference between what has been submitted and what has been in circulation.
He insisted that one cannot fault the possibility of a leakage in a project where so many people are involved.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, urged Nigerians not to lose focus on the objective behind the reports, saying that there was no misunderstanding between her and the former EFCC chairman and that she did not in any way interfere with the work of the task force.
Mr Ribadu has since posted on his social media platforms that “no matter the pressure, don’t compromise, stand for the truth and with people of integrity.”
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