Mr. Okupe said the government would implement the white paper produced on the report.
The Presidency at the weekend said it has no plan to either “kill” or “bury” the report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force headed by former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, made this known at the maiden edition of the National Convention of Alumni Association, Nigeria Institute of Journalism held at Mokland Hotels, Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital.
Mr. Okupe, who delivered a lecture, said that despite controversies surrounding the report of the committee, President Goodluck Jonathan had no hidden intentions about the report.
He added further that the committee was set up to sanitize the petroleum sector, wondering why there are hues and cries that the Federal Government would “bury” the report.
Mr. Okupe, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President of Public Relations, Olusanya Awosan, described those who opined that Jonathan would not act on the report as being mischievous.
While speaking on the theme, “Government Management of Public Opinion for National Development,” Mr. Okupe explained that the ‘discrepancies’ in the report, which according to him was acknowledged by members of the committee in the foreword to the report, served to convince Nigerians that government had no personal agenda on the report.
“In the recent saga around the report of thee Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) headed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the intervention of the department of Public Affairs was instrumental in helping Nigerians to see that government, which set up the panel in order to find ways sanitizing the petroleum sector, had no intention of killing the report as was suggested by some mischief makers,” he said.
“The adroit manner the department handled the matter by carefully pointing out to journalists and other public molders, the ‘discrepancies’ in the report, which was acknowledged by members of the PRSTF
themselves in the foreword to the report, served to convince Nigerians that government had no sinister intentions about the report.” Okupe emphasised.
Mr. Okupe had claimed in an earlier interview that there were ‘discrepancies’ in the report. The forward he referenced as a confirmation of the ‘discrepancies,” is where the committee stated that it could not conclude investigations in an area and that the government should continue from where it stopped.
Mr. Okupe assured of government’s determination to ensure full implementation of the recommendations of the white paper committee, on the report, set up by the President.
“At any rate, as Nigerians now know, President Jonathan has a measure of good faith and has since set up a committee to fashion a white paper on the report, which will be followed with full implementation of the recommendations of the committee,” he added.
He also said that the Jonathan-led government had been properly guided by genuine public opinion and would not fail to appropriate and respond to public opinion in his policy formulation, programmes, actions and dispositions.
Mr. Okupe added that this was evident in the recent mass protest against the removal of fuel subsidy which he said the President was prompt to agree with the public outcry and allow public opinion to rein supreme.
He affirmed that the president’s intervention in the sector was already having effect on the economy
adding that the significant contribution to the GDP was coming from the agricultural sector.