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TMG urges Buhari to probe oil sector, others



Offshore oil production

• Declares PWC audit report a whitewash

CITING various allegations of sleaze, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has asked the incoming administration to probe the petroleum sector as well as investigate the privatisation of national assets and institutions.

TMG added that if corruption were to be fought with the passion so widely circulated, changing the current leadership and giving it autonomy would bolster anti-corruption agencies.

Chairman of the TMG, Ibrahim Zikirullahi at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja called on President -Elect Muhammadu Buhari to “follow up on his promises by declaring a full scale war on corruption.”

Zikirullahi said of particular interest is petroleum sector and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) “which has over the years degenerated into a stinking cesspit of official corruption. We therefore call for a comprehensive probe of the NNPC…we consider the so-called audit (Price WaterHouse Coopers) forensic report, a whitewash, which credibility has even been disowned by the auditors themselves.

“TMG would like to believe that the touted promise of the President elect not to probe past corruption is not true, because it will be a great disservice to the vast majority of Nigerians, if the cans of worm threatening to burst and smear us all are allowed to further incubate”, he said.

The Group maintained that a thorough probe of all other agencies in the petroleum sector “including the prosecution of anyone found guilty of plundering the nation’s resources,” will put the country on the path of economic development.

Noting that the privatisation of the power sector, a subdivision in the economy that “has become synonymous with. Corruption in Nigeria” and all other national assets, needs to be investigated.

“It is fraudulent that an extensive privatisation exercise failed to produce a reliable due diligence report proficient enough to identify and proffer solutions to the technical challenges that have dogged the sector.

“Besides granting the DISCOs (Distribution Companies) cheap interests loans not opened to other players in critical sectors, Nigerians are equally forced to pay the DISCOs through monthly standing charges, not minding erratic nature of electricity supply…the President elect will serve our nation’s interest well by revisiting the heist in the power sector that goes by the name privatisation” and also revamp the regulatory body, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
While hinting that the messianic complex promoted around the President elect is far from the reality, the group tasked the President to abolish the “exploitative and provocative fixed/standing charges imposed on Nigerians by the DISCOs, as this could be the desired change that Nigerians have been clamouring for.”
Also the TMG said the promise to bolster the anti corruption agencies can only be achieved “by injection of fresh and radical minds and giving it financial and prosecutorial autonomy.”

He said a workable ethical reorientation for all Nigerians would suffice to send a clear message to all citizens that the era of impunity, in which crimes were committed without punishment, is over.

While also hinting on the need for the incoming government to consider starting the process of ushering in a truly federal structure, where states generate their own funds and compete with other states, given that the current handout federal model is not sustainable,

The group pledged that they would monitor the implementation of electoral promises, the governance processes and outcomes to the letter. .

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1 Comment
  • OOO

    Yes, I agreed with the TMG, I have always thought it is foolish for GMB and APC to say there will be no probe, but corruption will be fought starting from May 29. That is senseless. As one writer quoted the Chinese proverb – ” retracing your steps, no matter how far you have travelled on a road when you realized you were on a wrong path”, it is essential to make sample of dealing with corruption, if only identifying select ministries to probe – as TMG has suggested, take NNPC, Ministries of Petroleum and Power. That will send shivers down the spine of the society, to start. Besides, Nigeria needs to recover some of these siphoned funds to meet the goals of the new administration.

    As for the NNPC audit, I will like to hear or see that a lawyer (like Falana,Festus Keyamo et al) on behalf of the citizens file a lawsuit against PWC for completing an incomplete and not industry standard of audit based on international standard (completing the audit without reviewing the bank statements). It will be nice to see someone recover the fees paid to PWC for the service, with the lawsuit, for professional negligence?