Ribadu’s Report End of the Beginning
Every committee that emerged after the oil subsidy fiasco has obviously been ridden with controversy. In fact, Farouk Lawan’s report seems to be dwindling; probably it is just a matter of time before those who supplanted it begin mucky toast to victory. Nuhu Ribadu wouldn’t have swallowed the pill that snuffed life out of “Integrity” in the case of Lawan, but Nuhu is a man with a basket full of over-ambition and he has always been exploited.
Considering the drama that trailed the submission of Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) report recently, an illiterate could rightly guess the end result. It is appalling how serious national issues that threaten our very existence as a nation could be turned into a witch-hunting parade. Could it be that Oronsonya was acting out a script? Or was he the shylock of our time bent on taking his pound of flesh from Ribadu, who dared him as the EFCC Boss? But must he achieve this at the expense of the whole nation?
With this turn, one could not but question the sincerity and willingness of the government to make anything good out of every petite committee that erupted in the course of the subsidy brouhaha. In governance around the world, when government is so pressured, they constitute committees to take the heat off them. Nigerians got the message well, when these committees were coming out here and there that the government is only being mischievous. But where the report of such kangaroo committee reveals more than meet the eye, then a wise government would use the report to ensure sanctity in the system. Here everything is about rote!
Should Oronsoya’s claim that the report of PRSTF is incomplete be condoned and trashed? Was Dr. Doyin Okupe who trashed the report even before the white paper committee was constituted, aware that Oronsonya became a member of the board of NNPC as at the time he was the Deputy Chairman of the task force and did not at any point think it morally fit to disengage himself from the activities of the task force. Perhaps, Okupe’s job was to forewarn the eventful outcome of a job the white paper committee is yet to do.
The management of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon Assets requires radical transformation. Mr. President confirmed it himself. What is the fear of government should it sanitize the downstream sector? Pundits who read the report argued that the fact some figures were not verified is not enough reason for government to jettison the report. Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, the Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association and member of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF), urged the government to focus on substance and implement the findings in the report.
Criticism trailed Nuhu’s appointment as the chairman of the task force. Action Congress of Nigeria was completely averse to his acceptance of the job, a national duty. Was it that they envisaged nothing good out of the Nazareth of the PDP government? What could have been the reaction of the ACN to the outcome of the Ribadu’s report, despite the robust reaction from the public in this regard, ACN has remained mom.
If eventually, Ribadu’s report goes the way Uwias’, Okupta and many other genuine efforts of patriotic Nigerians had gone; then we have missed it yet again as a nation.
This article is being published by Nigeria SPUR Magazine