UNSCRUPULOUS players in the nation’s petroleum industry were yesterday told that the game is over.
The presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last year’s election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu said it will no long be business as usual.He spoke in Abuja after the inauguration of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.Ribadu is the chairman of the task force.The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the taskforce would promote values that support a new dawn of business conduct in the sector for the benefit of those who play by the rule. He said: “We seek a new ethics by promoting values that support a new dawn of business conduct in the sector so that those who play by the rules enjoy all the best support and the unscrupulous players get a red card announcement that the game is finally over.”
He however noted that the country is currently at a crossroad, stressing that the inauguration of the taskforce is to connect the administration and members of the public to a fresh level of accountability. Ribuadu admitted that part of the future challenges is to renew the faith of accountability with the citizenry. “The truth, however, is that Nigeria is today at a crossroad, we are at a juncture. We understand the constitution of this taskforce as part of the efforts to connect the public and the administration in newer levels of accountability,” he said. Ribadu pleaded with Nigerians to intimate the taskforce with information that will make the job easier.
He promised that the taskforce which was given 60 days to accomplish its task will be able to deliver. Mrs Allison-Madueke, who expressed confidence in the calibre of the members, mandated them to work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government. Besides, she urged the Ribadu-led task force to take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing; to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators.
The task force, said Mrs Allison-Madueke, is expected to design a cross debt matrix between all agencies and parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. It is also to develop an automated platform to enable effective tracking, monitoring, and online validation of income and debt drivers of all parastatals and agencies within the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.