Alison-Madueke Denies N10bn Jet Story

Alison-Madueke Denies N10bn Jet Story

Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources and president of OPEC, yesterday described allegations against her that she spent N10 billion in leasing jets for her use as a mere fabrication.

The minister, according to Vanguard, who spoke in an interaction with some senior journalists in Abuja, said she was being framed by her accusers for merely rising up to change the Nigerian oil industry for the benefit of the country.

According to her, leasing jets is more cost-effective than buying them as is often done in the highly technical and competitive oil industry around the world.

The minister said it would have been unwise for anyone to spend N10 billion in leasing jets, an amount which can conveniently buy three new jets, depending on the type.

READ ALSO: Human Right Group Wants Petrol Price Cut To N65

However, she admitted that although the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had a jet that was meant for her use, she was advised by aviation experts to sell it off, since it had been bought and parked abroad for some years, thereby raising safety concerns.

“When I started work as minister, there was an oil aircraft but I was advised not to use it because of safety issues and we had to lease some planes for use. I was advised that it was more cost effective to lease planes for our operations.

“Based on what we were advised, and having added the figures, we felt satisfied it was better to be leasing plane for use. For the N10 billion, one can buy three planes. I don’t know how they came about that huge figure ascribed to me. It is unfortunate for some people to just sit down and accuse people without any fact or figure.

Madueke said the NNPC, under her, had been most transparent ever since its inception, as she had tried to improve the system of corporate governance in accordance with global practice. She said that for this reason the allegation that she had spent a huge amount on private jets was disappointing.

The minister, however, decried the tendency by some Nigerians to try to bring her down, saying that she would not be distracted by such antics since she had a job to do for the country.

The minister also blamed the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill on several factors, naming key players in the oil industry and vested political interests in the country.

It will be recalled that a few weeks back, Alison-Madueke announced a duction in the cost of fuel from N97 per litre to N87 per litre during a press conference in Abuja.


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