Some members of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force chaired by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu have distanced themselves from the report purportedly released by them, saying they are yet to ratify any report.
Besides, they fear that existence of several variants of the purportedly leaked report is an indication of subtle moves by vested interests to frustrate the report and create confusion in the polity like they did to the first Petroleum Industry Bill submitted to the National Assembly in 2010.
In the wake of the purported leakage of the report, President Jonathan had earlier on Monday directed that the report be submitted to him latest by Friday (tomorrow).
According to a member of the committee, who asked for anonymity, he confided in THE CITIZEN that members of the committee are yet to ratified any report.
The member said, “We are yet to meet and ratify the report. Some of us are surprised to see the purported report flying about. I can tell you that we are going to meet tomorrow (Thursday) to look at the report.
“As we speak, we have not endorsed any report. Since three days, I have seen three variants. So I am particularly confused whose report they are, but certainly it is not ours.”
While he could not conjecture those behind the purported leakage, the member said that one thing he was sure of was that some powerful interests are at work to frustrate the work of the taskforce.
He said that some of the members are surprised by the manner the report was leaked to the press when in the actual sense members were yet to meet to conclude it.
“If we fail to agree tomorrow on the recommendations of the report, I doubt if the report will be submitted on Friday as directed because some of us are actually pieced off with the turn of events. How can a report we have not concluded is said to be in circulation. I can authoritatively tell you that what you see everywhere on the internet is not genuine and we can prove that when we meet tomorrow hopefully, “he said.
Reuters had on Wednesday last week quoted extensively from the report, which it said was confidential. The Reuters report was widely quoted in the local media on Thursday.
The 146-page report, according to the international news agency, had stated that a total of $183m (N28.73bn) in signature bonuses paid by oil companies to the federation was missing.
The report said that Ministers of Petroleum Resources between 2008 and 2011 handed out seven discretionary oil licenses, but that $183m in signature bonuses was missing from the deals.
The committee was set up in February. Its assignment included to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and to take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owed; to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators.
President Jonathan will receive the report on Friday morning at 11a.m. Some commentators had earlier commended the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke for setting up different committees to proffer solutions that will usher in transparency and accountability in the corruption ridden industry.
Source: The Citizen