Nigerian Senate on Wednesday set up an ad-hoc committee to carry out “holistic investigation” into allegations of corruption against Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, GMD, of the state oil firm, NNPC.
The Senate also charged the nine-member committee to investigate a letter written by the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing Mr. Baru of illegal actions and insurbodination.
The Senate committee is to be chaired by Aliyu Wamako while its members include Tayo Alasoadura, Akpan Bassey, Samuel Anyanwu, and Ahmed Ogembe.
Others are Chukwuka Utazi, Rose Oko, Baba Garba and Kabir Marafa.
Presenting the motion, Samuel Anyanwu emphasised the need for the Senate to investigate Mr. Baru’s involvement in alleged corrupt activities of Duke Oil, a component of the NNPC Trading Limited.
Mr. Anyanwu noted that the company was incorporated in 1989 in Panama and therefore,does not pay tax in Nigeria.
He said further that the company enjoys massive support of NNPC in trading of crude oil in the international market in spite of grappling with the basics of what it was registered to do.
“The Senate is aware of the decision of the current GMD to allocate almost all products to Duke Oil, this is in addition to its automatic inclusion in the lifting of crude oil, gas etc, which thus, makes Duke Oil a money spinning outfit.
“The Senate is aware that Duke Oil remains the sole importer of AGO to PPMC and Retail, which it does through third party since it cannot import by itself, this contributes in slowing the growth of our indigenous companies that are making giant strides in the sector.”
Mr. Anyanwu alleged that the general lack of transparency and level playing field have combined to make Duke Oil the highest money earner and at the same time, the highest money “waster” due to corruption in its operations.
Concerned that this relationship has stifled the growth of indigenous companies operating in the sector, the Senate resolved to constitute a committee to investigate the policy introduced by the current GMD of allocating products to Duke Oil and carry out a holistic investigation into the activities of NNPC Trading Company.
The lawmakers also resolved to investigate the letter written by Mr. Kachikwu.
Mr. Kachikwu in a letter dated August 30 which surfaced in the internet on Tuesday had criticised Mr. Baru over illegal practices and appealed to President Buhari to take urgent steps to address his concerns.