Jonathan to receive Ribadu panel, two other oil industry probe reports Friday

President Goodluck Jonathan

The reports might contain grave allegations of corruption in the oil industry.

President Goodluck Jonathan would on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja receive the reports of the three panels constituted early this year to probe various aspects of operations in the country’s petroleum industry.

In February 2012, the president approved the constitution of three committees, including the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force headed by the former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and immediate past Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, flag bearer in the last presidential election, Nuhu Ribadu. The committees’ mandate was to help recover outstanding debts in the country’s oil and gas industry.

The other committees include the Dotun Sulaiman – led committee established to design a new corporate governance code for full transparency, good governance and global best practices in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and other oil parastatals. The third is the Idika Kalu – led committee charged with the duty of conducting a high-level assessment of the country’s refineries and recommend ways of improving their efficiency and commercial viability.

At the inauguration of the Ribadu task force, Minister for Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, issued a six-points terms of reference to be delivered within 60 working days.

The reference include working with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government; taking all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing as well as obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators and design a cross debt matrix between all agencies and parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The task force, which was expected to submit monthly reports and other reports for ministerial review, was also mandated to develop an automated platform for effective tracking, monitoring, and online validation of income and debt drivers of all parastatals and agencies in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The task force was also mandated to work with world-class consultants to integrate systems and technology across the production chain to determine and monitor crude oil production and exports as well as ensure at all times, the integrity of payments to the Federal Government.

Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Reuben Abati, said the 21-man task force, which has the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steven Oronsaye, as Vice Chairman, would present the first of the three reports.

Already, speculations are rife that the report contains startling revelations of monumental corruption and fraud in various aspects of the upstream and downstream petroleum industry operations.

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