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Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. (2252 Views)
Presidency Intensifies Efforts To Discredit Ribadu Report. / Ribadu Report: Sack, Prosecute Oil Minister — Labour, SNG, Others / Ribadu Report, Plan To Embarrass Government - Presidency (2) (3) (4)
|How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 11:47am On Nov 12, 2012|
Nigeria is in for another season of contrived controversy now that the Nuhu Ribadu led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force has delivered its report and the coming of the controversy was expected by the discerning. Reason being that where it not for the executive summons that compelled Malam Ribadu to submit the report (which by the way had been ready since August 2012) Nigerians would have continued to discuss the deliberately leaked report when those who commissioned the report had not even seen it.
Deliberately leaked you may ask? But of course it was deliberately leaked! In Africa we say that if the witch flew at night and the baby died in the morning there is no need for a coroner's inquest.
It is known that Malam Ribadu met with his erstwhile friend Malam Nasir Elrufai for a reconciliatory meeting to mend fences between the duo. Now what happened at that meeting can not be established factually because it was a closed meeting, but what is known is that after that meeting somebody leaked the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force Report to Reuters.
Now, Sherlock Holmes said, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable is the truth. While Nigerians where pondering on who must have leaked the report, the leak exposed himself in the following manner.
On Monday the 29th of October 2012, the President ordered the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force to submit its report. In the morning of the very next day (Monday the 30th of October 2012) Malam Nasir Elrufai released the full unedited copy of the report of the Committee on his personal website, el-rufai.org, within minutes of the report being published on Malam Elrufai's site, the same report was published on Premium Times, a site run by former 234Next journalist. 234Next if you will recall is that paper for which Elrufai famously had an interest. Within hours the report was also on saharareporters.com.
Now it is obvious from this timeline who leaked the report to Reuters, but the question is who leaked the report to Malam Nasir Elrufai, a known antagonist of the Jonathan administration and what was the motive behind this leakage? And then most importantly, why did Elrufai choose to 'officially' leak the report only the day after the President asked to see the report that his government commissioned? Million dollar questions if I may say!
But be that as it may, from the now obviously preconceived loud noises made on Social Media by Elrufai, it is obvious that the agenda was to whip up fuel subsidy like sentiments and get the citizenry roused up against a democratically elected government.
So determined where these agents to use the Ribadu report to bring down the present administration rather than clean the Augean stable that they refused to report the earth shattering news that Boko Haram had nominated Muhammadu Buhari as their mediator for peace talks! Please go to these sites and see for yourself that they blacked out that news item.
Now why would news website notorious for breaking news refuse to break the biggest news of the year? It is obvious that they had instructions from their 'owners' to play up a particular news story.
Now, from meeting with Elrufai, a known antagonist of the administration before the report was submitted, I have it on good authority (and Malam Ribadu can not deny this), that Ribadu met with a rival of President Jonathan who has a predilection for desperately seeking the presidency even if it means betrayal of his boss. Ribadu met this man almost immediately after he presented his report to President Jonathan.
What are the motives for these meetings with antagonists?
Well, again, let us borrow from the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable is the truth.
These antagonist failed to acknowledge the courage of the President in setting up a committee to purge the oil industry which comprised people outside his sphere of influence. They failed to note that even Nuhu Ribadu testified that the President did not teleguide the committee either directly or via the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Rather they have approached the report with a pre conceived mindset.
The Nuhu Ribadu report covered a period that spanned many years. Most of the suspicious activities in that report occurred while others held sway in the ministry of Petroleum Resources, but all we are hearing is about the incumbent minister and her colleague in the ministry of finance. Why the targeted and selective tar brushing? Discretionary awards were rampant a mere four years ago, why is the name of the particular minister who held sway then not mentioned, I would hate to think that it is because he is from a certain geo-political region, but this is Nigeria where even elders constitute themselves into a forum to push for presidential candidates from their region so anything is possible!
The curious thing about this report is that some of the ills unearthed by Nuhu Ribadu's Committee were happening while he held sway as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). The Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force Report is as much a self indictment by Malam Ribadu on himself because he is saying that he was either incapable, or unwilling to tackle these ills when he was EFCC Chairman.
And I talked about motives. How about this for motive. About the time of his meeting with Malam Elrufai, the same Elrufai on his twitter profile came out to attack the professional standing of his former colleague when he stated on the 21st of September in a tweet that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is "nowhere near" Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in intelligence!
Now I know that given that the CBN governor is married to the sister of one of Elrufai's three wives he would have a soft spot for him, but this statement coming around the time of his meeting with Ribadu evidences a motive to bring down the Coordinating Minister of the Economy as a first step in the ultimate plan to bring down the Jonathan administration.
If not, why the mad rush to accuse the current administration of burying the Ribadu Report even before it was submitted? I mean, there were four reports commissioned Including the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Task Force, Governance and Controls Task Force, the National Refineries Task Force and the Petroleum Revenues Task Force.
The PIB is already before the National Assembly, so it is clear that there is political will to give life to the recommendation of the report, there is already reforms in place in the governmental sector with the most recent reform being the Performance Contract signed between President Jonathan and the Federal Cabinet and between the various ministers and heads of their Departments and Parastatals, and work is ongoing in the reform of our refineries.
So, why pick on the Ribadu Report?
I think the answer can be found in the same reason that the media mouth pieces of these antagonists refused to carry the story about Muhammadu Buhari and the Boko Haram peace talks offer.
It is now clear that the military campaign against Boko Haram by the Joint Task Force as well as the border closures ordered by President Jonathan in January 2012 are working and the noose is tightening around the neck of Boko Haram and those who have gained political traction by blaming the government for the insecurity occasioned by Boko Haram are at a loss and have to hurriedly come up with a new bogeyman to use in demonizing the Jonathan administration hence the desperation to latch on to the Ribadu report.
But they are fighting a losing battle. Malam Nuhu Ribadu himself inadvertently gave out that this report is not the smoking gun they have made it out to be. I will now quote what Ribadu himself said in the letter accompanying his committee's report.
Said Malam Ribadu and the Secretary of the Committee, Olasupo Sasore (SAN) who both signed the report "The data used in this report was presented by various stakeholders who made submissions to the task force in the course of our assignment at various dates which have been disclosed in relevant sections of the report. Due to the time frame of the assignment, some of the data used could not be INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED and the Task Force recommends that the Government should conduct such necessary verifications and reconciliations."
Right here in black and white Ribadu is telling the world that the figures in his report are not factual, they are based on hearsay evidence that has not been corroborated and yet some persons are jumping up and down for joy at these figures.
Nigerians may want to consider the words of Segun Adeniyi who reported that in a discussion with Malam Elrufai after the death of President Yar'adua he complained to him that he, Elrufai, had unfairly vilified Turai Yar'adua to which Elrufai responded that there was nothing like a 'Turai cabal' but he simply made it up to serve a purpose!
But is it really true that the committee did not have enough time to verify the figures? Anybody who has seen the leaked report knows that it is time stamped August 2012, a full two months before it was officially submitted to the President on Friday November the 2nd.
Only a dim wit will believe that the Malam Nuhu Ribadu of the EFCC renown could not have verified figures in two months. Of course he could have if he wanted to. But did he want to verify? Would his report have been as sensational if he had taken time to verify these figures? The obvious answer is no.
Habit is a very difficult thing to break. Between 2002 when he was appointed EFCC Chair and 2008 when he was sent to 'school' by President Yar'adua, the most common complaint against Ribadu by Nigerians was that he rushed to the press to convict people in the media before he was sure of his case. It seems that Ribadu never broke free from that habit!
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by k2039: 11:52am On Nov 12, 2012|
I just hate it when people publicise this wanna be relevant Elrufai.
His plan is actualy working,he always wants to be in the news and this news media are falling for it.mtchew
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by takedat(m): 12:30pm On Nov 12, 2012|
The writer of this article seems to be suffering from amnesia. He forgot that the constitution of the presidential task force only came to be because of the January fuel subsidy protest. The writer should not make it seem as if it was a premeditated approach.
The writer also lied that Ribadu was compelled to submit the report through executive summon meanwhile the report had been submitted for over a month to the minister(DAM) who sat on the report before it was leaked to Reuters. Why didn't the writer ask the minister why she sat on the report for so long? Why should a minister sit on a "Presidential" Task Force report? After the report was leaked, why did the minister claim it was just a "Mere Draft"? Was it not what she called a mere draft that was eventually submitted as the "Final Report" to the President? These are questions begging for answers from the writer.
Why did the writer avoid the shameful display of Orosanye and Otti during the submission of the report? No President of Nigeria has ever been humiliated in such way before. That alone is enough to discredit the President but this Writer saw nothing wrong with that. Oh I forgot that the writer is also part of the script!
Who leaked the report is not a major concern to us and the purported reconciliation between Ribadu and El Rufai is not our concern because we were not aware if they had a fight talk less of calling a truce. This is mere speculation.
The writer forgot that eminent personalities were on the committee such as Agbakoba, Ighodalo and others. The writer trying to put Ribadu as the alpha and omega of the committee is a lie. None of the committee members except Orosanye and Otti have come out to distance themselves from the report. As far as we know Agbakoba and most of the other members are not politicians
If Sahara and Premium times did not report about Boko Haram and Buhari as their mediator, didn't other media houses report it? So what is the fuss all about?
The Most reputable Accounting and Auditing firm world wide will never be able to verify and reconcile the accounts of NNPC and the likes accurately because of its porous system and manipulation of government officials. A look at the House of Rep probe shows that the data available to NNPC does not tally with that of CBN, DPR and Ministries of Finance and Petroleum. All had conflicting figures. The best the committee could do was to advice the government to re- verify and reconcile.
Rather than divert our attention from the report through the writer's conspiracy theories which is what he intends, RENO of Naijapundit should encourage his boss to get the PIB passed, implement the KPMG audit, House of Rep report, NEITI report and the salient issues raised in the Ribadu report such as Crude oil theft,following international best practises in allocating oil blocs and the rest.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by lagerwhenindoubt(m): 12:32pm On Nov 12, 2012|
weleripeletri.. wetin?? did you really come up with this? bravoo
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by seanet01: 1:00pm On Nov 12, 2012|
Fstranger alias werepeleri aka Akobi Tewonde George are you for real? So the only the Presido should have the report? What a clown you are. Have you forgotten that the committee was set up because of the subsidy protest?
Are we now suppose to sweep it under the carpet? If Ribadu has not leaked it, you savages would have sat on it like a couch, you surely has started taking those assorted weeds. Senility no get class.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by Nobody: 1:08pm On Nov 12, 2012|
Thanks for debunking the inanity-laced article for the sake of impressionable minds.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by redsun(m): 1:10pm On Nov 12, 2012|
If there is nothing to hide,then why not just publish the report officially,then follow the findings and the recommendations of the commitee.
That it is leaked does not mean the findings have been altered,abi?
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 2:01pm On Nov 12, 2012|
So I am now NaijaPundit? Double faced mulatoes. If it was Sahara Repoters, you will take it in hook, line and sickle. Mtcheeww. But because its not, you begin to cry like fish out of water. Hypocrites.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 2:04pm On Nov 12, 2012|
seanet01: Fstranger alias werepeleri aka Akobi Tewonde George are you for real? So the only the Presido should have the report? What a clown you are. Have you forgotten that the committee was set up because of the subsidy protest?
You need to see another Medical Doctor for your problem.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by HammedSodiqq: 2:42pm On Nov 12, 2012|
While many are misconstruing the January protest to be the bane behind the Ribadu committee, they have forgotten that the protest wasn't about setting up of committees. We are aware that each time govt increases Fuel price, Labour protests, so the January protest didnt come as a surprise.
On the issue of Ribadu's report, the man has made an honest and humble declaration that some of the data he used were not verified, as some where based on hearsay(gossip). He retasked govt by calling on them to conduct investigation on his report, with a view to affirming the facticity and authenticity of his recommendation. If Ribadu himself has recommended this, then all govt needs is time to finish what Ribadu has recommended. Why this unnecessary gragra.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 2:58pm On Nov 12, 2012|
U know the opposition and the critics must make the polity hot na. They must appear to be doing something, thats what the gragra is about.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by markus1133: 3:09pm On Nov 12, 2012|
shouldnt have happened in the first place
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by takedat(m): 3:15pm On Nov 12, 2012|
@Werepe, Please redirect your anger to the President's media team who were unable to manage this crisis effectively.
If truly the President has genuine intention, he would have immediately called back the committee when he became aware of the clause in the report. The President has not done that rather his media team comprising of Okupe, Abati, the writer of this article Reno and the GEJ NL crew have been sponsoring advertorials, press conference and all sort of calculated innuendos. Why won't Nigerians feel the government is up to something.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by Nobody: 3:17pm On Nov 12, 2012|
werepe must think this is beafs website where anaylsis of the crap posted would be deleted sharp sharp
naija pundit - the home of 'notorious facts'
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by KENESAGA(m): 4:25pm On Nov 12, 2012|
@seanet01 BRO, MY PROBM WIT NUHU IS DAT HE DIDN'T VERIFY D RESULT B4 LEAKING IT. THIS IS TELLING ME DAT HE WANTS 2 PLAY POLITICS WITH D REPORT. I KNOW WE DON'T HV ANY TRUST 4 OUR GOVT AGAIN BUT, IS NUHU(A POLITICIAN) TRUST WORTHY? JUST ASKING.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 4:26pm On Nov 12, 2012|
take dat: @Werepe, Please redirect your anger to the President's media team who were unable to manage this crisis effectively.
LOL - you obviously are the angered one. What crisis is he talking about? The crisis that a report was submitted and before the next day you are shouting that government wants to discredit it. LOL. See how you twist issues.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 4:26pm On Nov 12, 2012|
oyb: werepe must think this is beafs website where anaylsis of the crap posted would be deleted sharp sharp
Whats this one saying?
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 4:37pm On Nov 12, 2012|
I wonder why you guys always think you are the only ones who can be right and never be wrong. Anyone not arguing your own way is paid - but the ones arguing your own way are the ones making a point.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by ballabriggs: 4:42pm On Nov 12, 2012|
[size=14pt]The Plot Against Ribadu’s Report-TheNEWS[/size]
By Ademola Adegbamigbe and Ayo Oluokun
Powerful aides of President Goodluck Jonathan singed by the report of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force which exposes mismanagement and corruption in the Nigeria oil sector move to discredit it.
Early last week, strident voices of a slew of self-styled civil society advocates and anti-corruption campaigners on Nigerian television networks, and scores of advertorials and articles deriding the report of the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, PRSTF, assailed the sight. But as many Nigerians have since found out, at work was the rent-a-crowd strategy that the country’s governments and officials employ to manipulate public opinion whenever they are under pressure over issues of corruption, mismanagement or human rights abuses. Given events that played out in the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa the previous Friday, it wasn’t accidental that the propaganda strategy raged last week as some aides of President Goodluck Jonathan strove feverishly to paint a black book of what is now widely known as the Ribadu report. To put it concisely, the report has put them on the spot.
On that eventful penultimate Friday, Steve Osagiede Oronsaye had attempted to throw his weight around. And in the federal government circle, Oronsaye pulls quite some weight. The 62-year-old chartered accountant retired as the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, HOSCF, on 16 November 2010. Before becoming HOSCF, he was Principal Private Secretary to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Permanent Secretary, State House and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance. Under Obasanjo, Oronsaye headed many committees and was assigned to handle many responsibilities that included energy (oil) issues. The assignments and responsibilities in oil matters enriched him with extensive knowledge on, and involvement in, the politics and business of the steamy Nigerian oil industry. An official of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board confided in this magazine that Oronsaye was actually the de facto Special Adviser to Obasanjo on oil matters, with the former president referring to him on many occasions on crucial, contentious issues in the oil industry for advice or even outright determination.
Whether out of the thinking that it is necessary to tap from Oronsaye’s deep experience on oil issues, or ostensibly to reward him for his service to the nation, the incumbent Jonathan administration has deemed it fit to give him a board appointment in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. And in February this year, he was named the deputy to Ribadu on the 17-man Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force headed by the former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The setting up of the task force, Mrs. Dieziani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources said, was designed to enhance probity and accountability in the operations of the petroleum industry. The task force was also charged with the responsibilities of helping Nigeria to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria and to take all necessary steps to collect all debts among others. At the same period, Alison-Madueke also set up two other task forces, one on the revival of four refineries owned by the country, and the other, the Special Task Force on Corporate Governance and Controls in the NNPC, led by Dotun Suleiman. +
With the benefit of hindsight of the ugly events two Fridays ago, some analysts are wondering whether Oronsaye, an establishment man, was not deliberately fixed on the PRSTF to throw a wrench in the committee’s works. When the committee honoured the schedule to submit its report to President Jonathan in the Council Chambers on Friday 2 November, it was a drama of discordant voices, rather than a united team that confronted the President. The submission had been preceded by allegations, following leakage of the report by an international news agency, that government was unwilling to act on the report because it indicts favoured members of its kitchen cabinet. It was a harassed Jonathan that, therefore, on 29 October directed Ribadu and the other two committees to submit their reports to him on 2 November.
The task forces had submitted their reports to the Minister of Petroleum Resources who was waiting to present them to Jonathan when Oronsaye showed his hand; the agenda against the report began unfolding. “I want to say to you,” the former HOCSF began, after he had been recognised to speak by Jonathan, “that the process that has been followed is flawed and the report that has just been submitted to the Honourable Minister is the immediate reaction of the President’s directive that the report be submitted.” He added that there were not enough consultations among members of the Task Force in arriving at some of the figures contained in the report: “No matter how good the efforts that have been put into this exercise, as long as the process is flawed, that report is one that cannot be implemented. Let me say, too, that this other report which circulated was actually not accepted by members. That was the reason why the committee has to go back, modify, review and return.” Oronsaye stated that the committee had not completed its work when Jonathan directed that the report be submitted on Friday. He declared that members of the committee should have been bold enough to tell the President that it was not feasible. “I’ve not authorised anybody to sign on my behalf. I don’t know what the report contains. Therefore, in my view, I do not think the report should be accepted at this time.” And in what was a daring challenge to Ribadu, Oronsaye charged any member of the committee take him up on his position.
He was supported by Bon Oti, another member of the committee, who claimed that the report contained figures which were not reconciled or confirmed from the appropriate agencies in the sector to authenticate their genuineness. “I am not persuaded to be part of what is being submitted. I believe it is work in progress,” said Oti.
The claims of the two men were immediately punctured by two other members of the Task Force. Samaila Suberu, its Secretary, accused the former HOSCF of staying away most of the time from the committee’s meetings. He also said Orosanye was fond of complaining about the “harsh” way the Task Force was going about its assignment whenever he attended meetings. Suberu said Oronsaye was opposed to the report because of its perceived harshness: “Opportunity was provided for members to make comments, but they failed to make comments,” he said. He was supported by another member, Ignatius Adegunle, who added that contrary to the submissions of Oti and Oronsaye, the report of the Task Force was based on submissions and data received from government agencies and operators in the oil industry.
Oronsaye quickly retorted: “Some of the figures that were in the draft report were unreconciled figures and I did say in that meeting that we have institutions responsible for these figures and, therefore, we should work with these institutions. I don’t know whether the DPR and the FIRS are here. These are the people who should be talking about these figures and there were statements that were subjective. What I’m saying is that if the President has said we should come and submit the report, so what? If we’re not ready, we’re not ready.”
If Oronsaye thought he would aggressively take on Ribadu unchallenged, then he was at the wrong address. The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was seething with rage. Looking at Oronsaye hard in the eyes, he disclosed that when members began working assidously for three months immediately after the Task Force was set up, Oronsaye, for reasons known to him, stayed away from the meetings. “It was at the end that he jumped in,” he said. Ribadu also revealed that Oronsaye flew into the country a day before the presentation of the report.
[b]Analysts have been reading meanings into the dissenting member’s sudden arrival and presence at the presentation. Ribadu believed that Oronsaye and Oti’s conflicting opinions and position on the report, which indict the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke, might have been influenced by their new appointments. Oronsaye was appointed as a member of the NNPC board, while Oti was appointed into a managerial position in the Corporation in the course of the Task Force assignment. Ribadu argued that the two men should have resigned their Task Force membership following their NNPC appointments to avoid a conflict of interest, “but they refused to do so”. Ribadu told Oronsaye that while the other members sacrificed their respective businesses to face the national assignment, he and Oti joined the team very late, and when they eventually did, “they attempted to bully other members into doing the work their own way”. The former EFCC chairman considered Oronsaye’s countenance and general behaviour at the event as gross disrespect to President Jonathan.[/b]
It was a visibly embarrassed Jonathan that battled to play down the growing tension the disagreement was generating. He saw such disagreements as normal during committee assignments. “From what I have listened to, I will advise that any member that has any observations should write it and send to me through the Chief of Staff or the Minister (of Petroleum). If there are errors of calculation from the institutions, they will be filtered out. You don’t need to quarrel about it,” he pleaded. Defending Oti and Oronsaye’s appointments into positions in the NNPC in the midst of the Task Force assignment, Jonathan maintained: “Government has no interest in hiding anything. It is not to investigate anybody in government. Becoming board members of the NNPC does not disqualify them to be members of the committee; sometimes you need those in establishment to explain certain things and not to influence anybody. I don’t believe anybody can influence Ribadu negatively,” the President said.
The opposition party, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and other critics thought Jonathan was just being rhetoric. The ACN insisted government deliberately appointed Oti and Oronsaye to positions in NNPC to sabotage the work of the Ribadu Committee. “Alternatively, both men should have resigned their membership of the Committee the moment they were given plum jobs to avoid the apparent conflict of interests. But the fact that they stayed on, only to disparage the report of the Task Force so openly and ferociously at the end, is the clearest indication yet that they were meant to play the exact role of spoilers.” Debo Adeniran, Executive Director, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, stated that a critical look at the situation shows that some forces did not want the report to see the light of day. Adeniran posited it was even the embarrassment that the massive corruption in the oil industry sector was giving Jonathan that forced the Presidency to want to use Ribadu’s name to launder its image.
The Nigerian oil industry is incontrovertibly a cesspool of massive corruption. Outwardly, there have been numerous efforts at investigating the rot, but apparently, there is no sincerity of purpose on the part of the federal government officials to address it. When Jonathan gave Nigerians a strange New Year gift on 1 January this year in increase of the pump price of petrol from N75 per litre to N141, the people rose in nationwide protest, telling the President to clean up the dirt in his administration. The National Assembly waded in. The House of Representatives set up an ad-hoc committee, headed by Farouk Lawan, to probe the fuel subsidy. The committee found that subsidy payments were in excess of N2.5trn by December 2011, about 900 per cent over the originally budgeted sum of N245bn.
That House report indicted the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, forcing the federal government to develop a two-pronged attack. First, the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala constituted a subsidy review committee chaired by the Access Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. The report the committee submitted on 13 July 2012 reduced the Lawan committee’s figure of N2.5trn to N422.5bn.
There was also the Senate Committee, chaired by Dr. Bukola Saraki, Chairman, Senate committee on Environment and Ecology, which probed the fuel subsidy scam. The Senate committee has since not released its report. The federal government also inaugurated a special task force to fast-track the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into an Act of the National Assembly. It was headed by Senator Udo Udoma. The PIB, aimed at transforming the nation’s oil industry, was a product of the Oil and Gas Industry Committee, OGIC, which government set up in 2005. Alison-Madueke said: “Though members of the OGIC did a good job, we have all seen that the bill lacked the requirements of the sixth Assembly and needed to be redefined and gingered up for speedy and very expedient passage by the seventh Assembly.” The committee has submitted its report to the minister who is yet to make it public.
The Minister also appointed a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, as the Chairman of a 22-member committee on National Refineries Special Task Force. The committee was mandated to make sure that refineries produce at optimum capacity and come up with the possibility of public-private partnerships to assure their optimal efficiency. The former managing director of the old Unipetrol, Mallam Yusuf Ali, is the alternate chairman and he is to oversee the ongoing rehabilitation and turnaround maintenance of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries. The committee has submitted its report to Jonathan.
If the Ribadu committee’s report had not been leaked, analysts said, it would have gone the way of the other reports submitted to government but gathering dust in its offices. The work of the committee was mined with intrigues. As TheNEWS gathered, since part of the task force’s terms of reference was to recover money that oil companies owed Nigeria, it, at a point, agreed to involve the EFCC. Then the companies began paying, recording up to $5mn when something happened. According to an Aso Rock source, Oronsaye and Olisa Agbakoba, a maritime lawyer, once a rights activist and a member of the Ribadu PRSTF, reported Ribadu to Jonathan over the debt matter, arguing that if government was too hard on the companies, they might remove their investments from Nigeria. “Jonathan, therefore, ordered that the companies should stop paying,” the source added. Ribadu was said to have been peeved by the development, especially when some of the oil companies began boasting that they “have taken care of the situation”.
Ribadu was understood to have decided to submit the committee’s report directly to Alison-Madueke, who refused to collect it, although she had accepted the Kalu Idika Kalu PIB (another ministerial committee) report. Ribadu, however, sent it to her and she sat pretty on it. But it was leaked to Reuters! When her plan to frustrate the report failed, she argued that it was a draft, though she did not disagree with the content. According to Chido Onuma, a columnist, “while reacting to the publication by Reuters, [the Minister] had described the report as a draft and that a committee had been set up by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look into the ‘differences in perspective on the Ribadu committee report’ and make an ‘input’. Alison-Madueke who acknowledged receiving the same report last month and failed to act on it said the new committee ‘will complete its work and submit a comprehensive report in the next 10 days.’ ” Interestingly, as Onuma pointed out, Alison-Madueke’s “next 10 days” coincided with Friday 2 November 2012, the day the President directed that the Ribadu committee report be submitted to him.
A day earlier, 1 November, the fifth columnists in the committee had held a meeting with Ribadu. “At that meeting, Agbakoba championed the attack on the report,” the source confided. The same source revealed that Ribadu was so enraged that he asked Agbakoba to “shut up, I know your moves…” It was this shouting encounter with Ribadu that was believed to have made Agbakoba to chicken out – he did not attend the Friday presentation.
The Minister and the President, according to sources, were aware of this meeting. The Minister, as another source told this medium, was so restless about Ribadu’s stubbornness that she asked Oronsanye, who was not at the Thursday meeting, to make sure he appeared on Friday to rubbish the presentation.
“The idea was to rubbish the report through controversies,” a source told this magazine in Abuja. But the logic of the antagonists fell flat. For example, Oronsanye claimed that he was not quarrelling with the content but the procedure adopted in coming up with the report. Does the procedure he had problem with concern collection of monies owed by the oil companies? Critics wonder. This is because that was part of the terms of reference of the task force.
The drama that played out was a culmination of what many believed to be carefully woven intrigues to knock credibility out of the report since some of the key details in it were first made public by Reuters. The report was submitted to Alison-Madueke in July and there are doubts government would have acted or called for the official submission if it had not leaked. The revelation that the document was already gathering dust in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources sparked allegations of attempt at cover-up, a suspicion reinforced by the copious indictment in the document, of Madueke’s management of the sector . The public release of key details in the report sparked calls for immediate removal of Madueke from office over what many see as her attempts to tamper with key findings in the report, which she had in a somewhat derisive manner, dismissed as a “draft” in an interview with journalists.
The Ribadu team’s review covered 2002 to 2012, incorporating activities under former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, without mentioning his name. “That is why Obasanjo is not happy about that report,” a politician, close to the retired general, revealed.
Agitated Aso Rock officials were said to have begun to rue the day Ribadu was appointed to head the committee. A very top official in the Presidency was heard complaining bitterly: “Did we not say this? What did you expect from Ribadu? You went to bring in a mad man, see what he has caused now.”
The Ribadu team was asked to work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues, including taxes and royalties due and payable to the federal government, take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing, and to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators. It was also to come up with a cross-debt matrix between all agencies and parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources; and develop an automated platform to enable effective tracking, monitoring and online validation of income and debt drivers of all parastatals and agencies in the ministry.
Civil society groups and labour unions pointedly accused the President Jonathan administration of attempting to cover up the fraud uncovered in the report because it indicts one of the administration’s favoured ministers. This suspicion was reinforced by the fact that government was also singing the same tune with the Minister. In its reaction to the controversies, President Jonathan, speaking through Reuben Abati, his spokesperson, said that to government, the report in the public domain was suspicious. “It is strange that government will set up a committee, its report has not been submitted to the authorities that set up the committee and the report will be found on the pages of newspapers,” said Abati. “What appears to have been irregularly released prematurely to the media is a draft copy which still requires full assent of all members of the committee and clarifications and due process from the originating ministry before the official handing over to the Presidency,” Doyin Okupe, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs added.
The report uncovered NNPC as remaining a source of free funds for all sorts of fancy of government of the day despite claims of reforms of the Corporation by successive Nigerian governments. The document indicates that Nigeria has in the past 10 years lost over N16 trillion to various criminal activities in the sector. The Task Force especially notes that hydrocarbon theft is a major avenue for loss of revenue from the national treasury. Based on the estimated annual loss of 250,000 barrels per day, and yearly loss of N1 trillion, the Ribadu committee estimates that N10 trillion was lost to crude oil theft alone in the past 10 years. The estimated loss, according to the Task Force, was based on submissions made by operators in the industry.
Shell, the biggest operator in the upstream sector of the industry, told the committee that it found at least 50 tap points on its 90 kilometres Nembe trunk line in January 2011 alone. The multinational oil company admitted that the average total loss of crude oil to thieves in its operational areas has climbed from 10,000bpd in late 2009 to over 50,000bpd in March 2012. Its competitor, Chevron, also claimed that oil loss from its operations in the first quarter of 2012 exceeded losses for all of 2011. NNPC, the Task Force says, put its total losses from 2009 to first quarter of 2012 at over 20 million barrels. It also observed that various estimates by international oil companies and government officials of the scale and volume of crude theft ranged from 6 to 30 per cent of production. “The Task Force did not receive comprehensive figures documenting volumes of refined products stolen or spilled. PPMC also recorded 4,468 product pipeline breaks in 2011, 98 per cent of them from sabotage; and values the products stolen from its pipeline network between 2001 and 2010 at N178bn,” the Task Force notes. It remarks that increasing incidents of crude oil theft have not only served as a disincentive to investments, but are also bleeding the country financially as a result of deferred production. It cites the example of Shell which has had to declare a force majeure on onshore liftings five times since early 2011 as a result of damages to its pipeline as a result of illegal bunkering. “Government data shows dozens of fields sabotaged before the amnesty still sit idle. Shell’s onshore output currently around 600,000bpd is barely half of 2005 levels. In Delta State, Chevron still produces one third less oil than it did in 2008…” states the Task Force.
Another key finding of the Task Force is the 445,000bpd crude oil allocation to NNPC for local refining, but which the Corporation is selling abroad. The NNPC has always claimed it is selling the crude oil allocation because the local refineries lack the capacity to refine them. But the Task Force discovered that the NNPC had been underpaying the national treasury by about $5bn from revenue realised from the sale of crude oil allocated to it in the period covered by its assignment. It also uncovered inconsistencies in the 2002 to 2011 records of the NNPC on implementation of the policy to allocate crude oil to the Corporation and the manipulation of the exchange rate used in determining the naira equivalent payable into the national treasury. “The Task Force also compared the average price per barrel payable by NNPC for domestic crude with the average weekly prices for Nigeria Bonny Light, Forcados, obtained from the Energy Information Administration, EIA. The review revealed that over a 10-year period (2002 -2011), the State may have been short-paid by an estimated sum of $5 billion, although it was understood from discussions with NNPC officials that the pricing of domestic crude oil was based on international prices,” writes the Task Force.
Review of the domestic crude utilisation also showed that the percentage not refined in-country ranged from between 50 per cent and 88 per cent over the 10-year period. The total potential underpayment from all the shenanigans of the NNPC as regards the sale of crude oil allocation to it for domestic refining was estimated over the 10-year period at N86.6bn. The Task Force also says it observed that some traders lifting Nigeria crude were not listed on the approved master list of customers who had a valid contract and were selected through an annual bidding process. Indeed, it notes, Nigeria is the world’s only major oil producer that sells 100 per cent of its crude to private commodities traders, rather than directly to refineries. Many of the traders have not, over the years, demonstrated renowned expertise in the business of crude oil trading. As was discovered, the use of crude oil traders by the NNPC is not in accordance with global trends in which national oil companies have their own trading arms. “Various submissions to the Task Force demonstrated the potential for lost margins to middlemen, manipulation of pricing, sub-optimal returns and market fraud as emanating from this policy and practice,” the Task Force notes.
The committee uncovered over N298bn deficit from the accounts of 16 different subsidiaries of the NNPC within the period. According to the report, $183mn (N28.7bn) remain outstanding from signature bonuses, while the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, recorded another $2.9mn (N455mn) outstanding from its various concessionaires. A total amount of $3.027bn (N475.2bn) was recorded as outstanding royalties, with Addax Petroleum alone defaulting by $1.5bn in the 2003 fiscal regime. Nigeria was found to have lost $29bn (N4.55trn) to deficit payment from the sale of Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, while $115mn (N18bn) outstanding was discovered not to have been reconciled from the amount of penalties for gas flaring. A sum of $58mn remained uncollected from the companies that were penalised.
The Task Force discovered that the DPR lacks the capacity to independently track and measure gas volumes produced and flared and instead depends on information provided by the operators. It also observes that the periodic reconciliation meetings with the operators to address the gas flare volumes were delayed, with only six completed of 36 at the time of the review. It observes there is no single point accountability for the income and expenditure streams of upstream petroleum operations. Investigations revealed that legislation governing the industry and agreements with third parties are either outdated, do not reflect current economic or legal realities; or include ambiguous clauses. Again, there are numerous discretions in the award of oil blocks, with consequent revenue losses for Nigeria. Mismanagement of past bid rounds by government had resulted in lower demand and fewer qualified bidders, as uncompleted deals weakened government returns. Review of allocations of oil blocks done revealed an outstanding signature bonus of $183mn due to the nation’s treasury. Interestingly, award of three of the discretionary oil licences were done during the current Alison-Madueke tenure.
The Task Force details how funds realised from the sale of crude oil are being treated as slush funds, used to finance various inanities by the NNPC and the Presidency. The NNPC, for instance, spent N2.23bn for the acquisition of a helicopter for the President and heavily on sponsorship of the World Cup. The Corporation also gave out another N700.5mn in loan to the Sao Tome & Principe, based on instruction from the Presidency, paid N2.421bn to a foreign company, the Royal Swaziland Sugar Company and engaged in periodic funding of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources despite the fact that the Ministry operates its own annual budget. The Task Force discovered that NNPC was being used as an illegal lender to presidential committees, ministries and parastatals. One of such instances was the N20bn loan to the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security on the instruction of the Presidency. The Corporation claimed to have underwritten N521mn in expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and spent another N250mn on court cases involving the ministry. The Ribadu committee put the amount of money siphoned from the NNPC coffers through such sundry expenses in the past 10 years at over N50bn.
The Task Force recommends, among others, the scrapping or reorganisation of the NNPC, review of the use of crude oil traders and enactment of a law that will require all oil companies to disclose all payments made to Nigeria.
Though Alison-Madueke described the report as draft, she started defending herself against some of the allegations even before the report was formally presented to the President. Against the allegations that some international oil traders who were not on the approved master list of customers had been sold crude oil without a formal contract, the Minister insisted that there are no informal contracts and there is “an official tender put out every year, which could be seen by the public in newspapers”. She swore she has not given any discretionary awards during this administration, and added that the President has the right to do so instead of using bids if he deems it fit. “That is entirely up to him,” she said.
But Ribadu told journalists that the report submitted to the President is the same that has been in the public domain, contrary to insinuations to the contrary. “There is no difference and you can see clearly what happened. We work for our country and we work for our people and stand by what is the truth. Nothing can change that. What we said is exactly what we have produced,” he declared.
Apart from the media campaign to rubbish the Ribadu report, there was the discreet publication of a letter purportedly signed by Ribadu and Olasupo Sasore, another member of the Task Force to the Petroleum Minister. The two men were said to have told the Minister in the letter that some of the data contained in their reports were unverified.
The Ribadu report has already received the support of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, which indicated last week that the findings contained in the report were not different from those it unearthed in its past investigations of the Nigerian oil industry. The Initiative said it had also uncovered about $9.8bn recoverable fund due to the Federation Account from operators in the oil industry, but which the government has not made efforts to retrieve.
Alison-Madueke told journalists that she would be sitting with the different task forces in the next few days to thrash out areas of misunderstanding in their reports. But many Nigerians have expressed misgivings about anything meaningful coming out of the findings at the end of the day. “Almost all of those indicted have skeletons in their cupboard. Their cronies are just hatchet people working to rubbish the report. We know what is happening. If the President wants to fight corruption – which I know he does not, going by the fate of similar reports – he should work with the report,” Emma Eneukwu, National Publicity Secretary, All Nigeria Peoples Party, quipped. Ribadu himself had advised the President that only a person of integrity can carry out reforms, “otherwise it will come to nothing”. Ribadu did, indeed, advise government to take action on issues of outstanding royalties, petroleum revenue tax and gas flaring and penalise offenders decisively. “The companies that are operating in Nigeria today are making huge money from our country. Many of them are going out and investing in other parts of the world. We’ve found out that so many of them even don’t pay a simple thing as royalties. We need the money. We need them here. We need them to continue to do business. But they should also look at us and give us what is certainly our own entitlement,” Ribadu fumed.
The President has assured the Ribadu report would be well examined and necessary action taken in all efforts to sanitise the murky Nigerian oil industry. Only a few Nigerians believe him. The question is: Will the President prove cynics wrong this time? It is generally agreed as unlikely.
—ADEMOLA ADEGBAMIGBE/ OLUOKUN AYORINDE
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by ballabriggs: 4:50pm On Nov 12, 2012|
Okay El Rufai leaked it, good, we need more of such reports to be leaked.
What is to be done? Who is going to jail for the theft.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 4:51pm On Nov 12, 2012|
I guess the above will make more meaning to you that the one from NaijaPundit - abi?
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by ballabriggs: 4:53pm On Nov 12, 2012|
werepeLeri: I guess the above will make more meaning to you that the one from NaijaPundit - abi?
Why not? Naija pundit is filled with f00ls like yourself who have no life but depend on Oronto for survival.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by takedat(m): 5:07pm On Nov 12, 2012|
@Ballabrigs, thanks for culling that article.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by takedat(m): 5:15pm On Nov 12, 2012|
werepeLeri:You are not doing your job well. We ain't buying this crap, you can do better than this!
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by Kobojunkie: 5:26pm On Nov 12, 2012|
[size=14pt]How did El Rufai, a civilian, get access to a **Secret**Government report in the first place? [/size] Are we auto-magically assuming here that Ribadu takes official papers to re-conciliatory meetings with his buddies? Are we seriously trying to accuse the man of this?
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by banki(m): 6:03pm On Nov 12, 2012|
please isnt it a shame that this government is always blaming people out of government for thier failure?
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by patimore: 6:13pm On Nov 12, 2012|
Na wetin concern El Rufai with the report. This govt is so dull that they have given El Rufai a larger than life image.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 7:45am On Nov 13, 2012|
and you are a modafoker who sleep with their mothers for survival. Isint it? You are a low lifer who resorts to insults to convey a message. Cu.nt/
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by takedat(m): 7:53am On Nov 13, 2012|
werepeLeri:ur blood d hot o
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by werepeLeri: 8:10am On Nov 13, 2012|
take dat: ur blood d hot o
When they call you a fool without a reason, especially by one ras local chimp, then you will know how it feels. Beside, I am giving it back in his own coin, so he knows abuses are not his own preserve. Ordinarily, such chimps dont move me, but this one is a perenial cu.nt, so he has to be given back.
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by Demdem(m): 8:52am On Nov 13, 2012|
@ take dat
U obviously did a good job with that write up. Kudos. Reno of naijapundits is a mad man.
Besides, am really happy that the report was leaked. If not, it would simply have joined the numerous reports rotting away in the presidency. That doesnt mean that the Retardeen will still implement it oooo
|Re: How El Rufai Leaked The Ribadu Report To Discredit Jonathan. by Demdem(m): 8:56am On Nov 13, 2012|
KENESAGA: @seanet01 BRO, MY PROBM WIT NUHU IS DAT HE DIDN'T VERIFY D RESULT B4 LEAKING IT. THIS IS TELLING ME DAT HE WANTS 2 PLAY POLITICS WITH D REPORT. I KNOW WE DON'T HV ANY TRUST 4 OUR GOVT AGAIN BUT, IS NUHU(A POLITICIAN) TRUST WORTHY? JUST ASKING.
What are u talking about. he said some and highlighted those ones for all to see. What about the ones he verified which he stated? Ribadu obviously did a good job
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