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Saturday, May 18, 2024

This Petroleum Industry Review – By Dr. Rashid A. Balogun



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It is unusual for me to comment on matters I considered highly political but since it concerns Nigerian in general I think I might be able to say something on my take in a very scriptive way.

Federal Government

His Excellency President Jonathan scrambled to curtail rising turmoil following the significant hike in prices of oil on January 1, 2012 and one of his strategy was to highlight the rot in that industry. The government continues to do so with high profile arrests and announcement to recover lost revenues by establishing a review panel (whatever its name is) headed by Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, former Presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The Federal government also determines the individuals Mr. Ribadu had to work with.

Since the hiring of Mr. Ribadu is secretive without any transparent procedure, it is difficult for anyone to say in specific terms what was agreed. But I’ve heard that the motive concerning the hiring was to silence the country’s opposition due to Ribadu political affiliation and credibility while he led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with a strategy to combat international media or governments’ scrutiny of the Federal Government due to Ribadu commentaries.

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For whatever reason, Mr. Ribadu was hired and I think his report was delivered few weeks ago generating all sort of rebuke and accolades from all sources.

Mr. Nuhu Ribadu

Ribadu is a ‘name brand’. (full-stop)

For one thing he is not an auditor or forensic accountant in any jurisdiction but it is clear that he is a politician affiliated with the main opposition in Nigeria (ACN). He is a lawyer, retired police officer and former head of EFCC by political appointment. I don’t think anything is wrong with this background.

But it does not take a rocket science to see that it is highly ambitious for Mr. Ribadu to think that the government will agree with whatever he discovered or be considered independent in his resolve.

Nevertheless, if Mr. Ribadu had been an auditor or forensic accountant, he would have rejected the appointment based on the fact that he was not allowed to pick his own team, which is just ethical obligation that profession required. And as a political opponent of the federal government, I say that Mr. Ribadu should have jettison his political views and be able to compromise with people he was surrounded with to perform that task.

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The handling of the report and disclosure to foreign media even before the Presidency got a copy does not help Mr. Ribadu or the opposition one bit because it leaves open the federal government bashing of everyone but themselves.

What I am saying is this, the fallout of the report fall squarely on Ribadu’s lap. And this does not mean I am supporting the Federal Government. Ribadu should have remained a ‘named brand’ rather than been dragged into political quagmire.

I remain

Dr. Rashid A. Balogun, CPA, LLB(Hons.), LLM(London)



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