- The presidency and the NNPC have been faulted by Oby Ezekwesili over issues bordering on petrol subsidy
- Ezekwesili suspected that there is a lot of intransparency concerning the handling of the subsidy arrangement
- However, the NNPC through Ndu Ughamadu, the group general manager of public affairs division, dismissed Ezekwesili's claims
Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education, on Tuesday, May 23, faulted the presidency and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the alleged lack of transparency in the petrol subsidy arrangement.
Ezekwesili decried the alleged secrecy at the NNPC and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose to Nigerians how much the federal government was spending in subsidising petroleum products, Punch reports.
She said this at a high-profile workshop on international anti-corruption best practices convened by the civil society legislative advocacy centre in conjunction with Transparency International (TI) in Abuja.
Speaking on the alleged corruption at the NNPC, Ezekwesili stated: “What exactly is going on at the NNPC? In this same country, we passed the NEITI (Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) into an Act way beyond the global standard, and this was widely applauded globally because it was robust. But today, even with NEITI in existence, you can hardly tell what goes on in the NNPC.
“Does the NNPC have a functional board? If the board functions, what exactly is going on in terms of the subsidy regime? How much is being spent from the public coffers?
"Who is making the decision as to what is being spent? At what point in time is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, who happens to be the President, going to tell the nation the accurate expenditure on a matter like subsidy?”
She added: “These are real issues. Again, at what point are we going to get a scorecard from the government on the remediation efforts concerning the audits of NEITI for the many years that they have happened? Nations that decided to tackle corruption made progress within a decade and I know them.
“So, if we want to tackle corruption, we can tackle it. But anyone who is going to tackle corruption must be someone who goes all the way because there is no shortcut to fighting corruption.”
Ndu Ughamadu, the group general manager, of public affairs division NNPC, told newsmen that the oil firm had never said it was paying subsidy on petrol; instead, all it stated was that the corporation had been incurring under-recovery.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, January 17, summoned Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum, and Maikanti Baru the managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), over the payment of subsidy on petrol without the National Assembly's approval.
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