Editor’s note: During the government of the immediate past president Goodluck Jonathan, Diezani Allison-Madueke, an ex-minister of petroleum resources, has never addressed the public on the various scandalous and strong accusations against her.
Hafsatu Ali in his article describes seven alleged big crimes of former petroleum minister.
1. Petrol subsidy scam
The monumental, unimaginable fraud of the century, the so-called petroleum subsidy at the inception of Goodluck Jonathans administration is bound to top any list comprising institutional and official robbery in a governmental setting.
The issue of oil subsidy scam is not even an allegation; it is a fact that the subsidy amount miraculously rose from N300 billion to N2.3 trillion in just six months of the Goodluck Jonathan regime where Allison-Madueke served with juicy portfolio. Investigations have exposed the reason behind this extreme rise in the oil subsidy; the records have shown real evidence of the petroleum minister and other officials like Reginald Stanley the Executive Secretary of PPRA (Petroleum Products Pricing Regulation Agency) being engaged in shady deals and nepotism by granting Shorelink, a company owned by Reginald Stanley’s cousin, Obiamarije Stanley an allocation of 75,000 metric tons of oil import.
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2. Private jet charter scam
The minister of petroleum has been accused of wasting national resources to accommodate her extravagant lifestyle. Samuel Adejare, the lawmaker that exposed this huge fiscal irresponsibility and gross assault of laws on fiscal discipline by the minister, said there’s strong evidence, according to investigation, that the minister spent more than N10 billion on travelling alone.
True to the typical reaction of Nigerian officials in the past 16 years, of aggressive counter accusations when questioned or faced with charges of wrongdoings, the minister and NNPC resorted into an effort of trying to discredit the probe being carried out by the house committee on public accounts, by trying to distract and divide the public from the main subject by pointing fingers at the Speaker and accusing him of also using private jets while dodging the questions raised on reckless waste of public resources.
Now the question is, “Madam Minister, why would you so callously waste such a huge amount of public funds on yourself and your family for such unnecessary luxury, when there are other comfortable options?”
3. Management instability in NNPC
We are curious to know the real reasons why NNPC underwent an influx of group managing directors (GMDs) and other top officials in a single term of Goodluck Jonathan and Diezani Allison-Madueke’s tenure.
There have been 5 GMDs under the Jonathan administration, starting from 2011, Dr. Mohammed Barkindo (2009-2010); Alhaji Shehu Ladan (April - May 2010); Mr Austen Oniwon (2010-2012); Engr Andrew Yakubu (2012-2014) and Mr Joseph Dawha (Aug 2014). NNPC is an organisation that requires stable management and effective policy implementation.
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But how can this be possible when the senior heads of a crucial organisation are arbitrarily removed without a transparent process or genuine reason for their dismissal. It is common knowledge that the lack of transparency and accountability in the corporation is the root cause of its problems, which invariably affects the whole country. The alleged reason for the abrupt dismissals of some of the GMDs is because they had a disagreement with the Petroleum minister.
4. Kerosene subsidy scam
The following findings on the fraudulent issue of kerosene subsidy were reported in the report by the committee on payment of fuel subsidies after the 2012 uprisings triggered by the monumental oil subsidy scam. Aigboje Aig-lmoukhuede chaired the committee.
The committee’s report findings say “…in spite of a directive issued by President Yar’Adua on June 15, 2009 that NNPC should cease subsidy claims on kerosene, PPPRA resumed the processing of kerosene subsidy claims in June 2011 and NNPC resumed the deduction of kerosene subsidy claims to the tune of N331, 547,318,068.06 in 2011.
5. Unremitted $ billions to the federation account
In 2013, the loudest whistle was blown by the former Governor of Central Bank, Emir Sanusi Lamido, pointing out the case of missing and unremitted oil proceeds by NNPC to the federation account from the period of January 2012 to July 2013.
The former CBN governor accused NNPC of failing to remit $20 billion to the national account at the senate public hearing on the issue on February 4, 2014.
The governor said NNPC exported $67 billion worth of crude oil but it only remitted $47 billion into the federation account from the of January 2012 to July 2013.
The committee set up by the senate to investigate these serious claims turned out to be a group of biased agents on the side of the accused culprits, and as such, had no authentic explanation on the matter.
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6. Last minute shenanigans
Even at the tail end of the petroleum minister’s regime, reports of fraudulent schemes from her office are not slowing down. It’s alleged that the petroleum resources minister has obtained the oil mining licence; OML 40 and OML 42 owned by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). The minister has transferred the ownership of the licences to a private company that is closely linked to her, according to an investigation by a media house.
Even in the midst of all the uproar in this last hour of Jonathans’s administration, the minister is said to be plotting and making deals for herself.
7. Relationship with Jonathan
The public is curious to understand why the president has insisted on keeping the controversial petroleum minister in spite of all the strong allegations against her. Jonathan continued to turn a blind eye to all these issues, even as they badly affected the country’s image. The petroleum minister, over the past five years of this administration had displayed an uncommon level of power by her actions. It is said that the minister has an upper hand in national matters. At a point, she was almost operating as a proxy Commander-in-Chief. The president is extremely weak towards the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Some members of the Federal Executive Council have leaked information on the embarrassing manner the minister behaved in meetings, especially in the early years of the regime.
Read the rest at Mallamahafsa
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