Oronsaye Report: FG To Scrap NAPEP, Merge NAMA, NCAA, NIMET

Jonathan and OronsayeThe Federal Government has released the white paper on the report of the presidential committee on restructuring and rationalization of Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies, rejecting most of the recommendations in the Steve Oronsaye report.

In the document released by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Federal Government rejected the recommendation to merge NTA, FRCN and VON.

It also rejected the recommendation to abolish the Federal Character Commission; privatization of FAAN; scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, and re-introduction of tuition fees in federal universities, among others.

The accepted recommendations include: scrapping of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission; repealing of the national salaries, income and wages commission law; scrapping of the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP; merger of Nigeria Airways Management Authority (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET); and partial commercialization of NIPOST.

Jonathan gives Ministers two weeks to vet Ribadu’s report

In a bid to fulfill his pledge that recommendations made by the controversial Ribadu Report would be looked into, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up white paper committees to prepare Draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and two other reports on the nation’s oil sector.

The others are reports presented by the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on Thursday announced the appointment of the latest committee to probe the nation’s oil sector.

According to Dr Abati, “the committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised and prepare Draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks.”

The white paper committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report-now known as Ribadu report-will be chaired by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan, after the rancour between members of the committee during their submission of the report, gave the assurance that despite the rancour , his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.

The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsaye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to the President with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.

The white paper committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama  Pepple.

Other members of the committee are Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani.

The white paper committee on the report of the National Refineries Special Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Mohammed Sada as chairman, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members.

According to the statement, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide a secretariat for the committees.

The statement further adds that the President has made the move “in furtherance of his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”

Ribadu revenue report is not complete – Femi Segun

A public affairs analyst; Mr Femi Segun has stated that the way with which the report of the Ribadu committee is being controverted is highly irresponsible.

When asked by Sunrise Daily’s main anchor Chamberlain Usoh, that should the Federal Government accept the Ribadu committee report and act upon it, he responded saying “there are procedures to be followed as prescribed by the taskforce as terms of reference which are international practices, and where it wasn’t followed you allow this document to be undermined or controverted in the future”.

The public affairs analyst expressed his bitterness over some media houses which he described as ‘highly irresponsible’ for not being professional to decipher what should gain prominence”, particularly in the way the report which he claimed is incomplete, is been handled.

“We have a challenge in this country, and I am not talking about responsible media like Channels TV. I mean there are a lot of media houses and print houses that are highly irresponsible.”

“Comments that are not supposed to see the light of day are given preeminence and are given headlines in newspapers and people’s reputations are shut down completely.”

 

ACN accuses FG of sabotaging Ribadu’s work

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Federal Government of deliberately sabotaging the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, headed by the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, following the controversy that marred the presentation of the task force’s report to President Goodluck Jonathan last Friday.

In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Lai Mohammed on Sunday in the Lagos, the party said the decision to appoint two members of the committee, Steve Oronsaye and Bernard Otti, to positions in the NNPC while the task force was still working on its assignment is a deliberate booby trap.

It said if the Federal Government did not have any ulterior motive; it would have waited for the task force to complete its assignment before naming Mr Oronsaye into the board of the NNPC and Mr Otti as the Director of Finance of the same body.

“Alternatively, both men should have resigned their membership of the committee the moment they were given the plum jobs to avoid the apparent conflict of interest. The fact that they stayed on, only to disparage the report of the task force so openly and ferociously at the end, is the clearest indication yet that they were meant to play that exact role of spoilers,” the party said.

The party said the temerity with which the duo sought to denigrate the report of the task force in the presence of the President of the Federal Republic showed that they must have been acting a well-prepared script.

“All that these two men needed to have done, if indeed they did not agree with the report of the task force, was to write a minority report and present such to the President, instead of engaging in theatrics as they did at the presentation, right in front of the whole world.

“Unfortunately, the President’s efforts to downplay the whole disagreement and give the dissenters a soft landing did more to accentuate the damage done to the report by the two men. The President’s statement, that becoming board members of NNPC does not disqualify them from being members of the task force, is an indication of his innermost thoughts on this issue,” it said.

The ACN however said it was not surprised at how things turned out with the task force, having previously warned, in a statement it issued on 8 February 2012, that naming credible people like Mr Ribadu to head the task force might just be part of government’s ploy to poach credible personalities from the opposition just so it can decimate it (opposition) and also tarnish the well-earned credibility of such personalities.

“Among our observations in that press statement, we had said: ‘There is also the possibility that booby-traps will be deliberately set for such credible personalities to guarantee their failure in their stated assignment, after which they will be ridiculed and dumped like an ordinary chump’.” the party said, adding: ”We hate to say our fears have been justified.”

It reiterated its earlier statement that the Federal Government is not interested in any genuine effort to clean up the corruption and mess in the oil sector, and that is merely engaging in window dressing by setting up committees upon committees, whose outcomes will eventually add to the growing list of reports that are now gathering dust at the presidency.

Presidency refutes ACN’s claim

Meanwhile the presidency has refuted claims by ACN that the federal government is deliberately sabotaging the petroleum revenue special task force, headed by Mr. Ribadu, following the controversy that marred the presentation of the task force’s report last Friday.

A statement issued by the presidency says the ACN’s allegation, falls into a familiar pattern by the party to tell lies and discredit every initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The statement from the presidency affirmed that President Jonathan remains committed to the war against corruption and that every step his administration has taken has been in this direction, and that has not changed.

The presidency goes on to deploy what it describes as an attempt by ACN to accuse it of having had a hand in the open dissension among members of the Ribadu committee.

The ACN had also claimed that Mr. Steve Oronsaye and Mr. Bernard Otti’s appointment onto the board of the NNPC while serving on the Ribadu committee compromised their position.

The opposition party had in a statement on Sunday yesterday insisted that the federal government is not interested in any genuine effort to clean up the corruption and mess in the oil sector, and that is merely engaging in window dressing by setting up committees upon committees, whose outcomes will eventually add to the growing list of reports that are now gathering dust at the presidency.

 

Read the full Ribadu’s report here.