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Monday, February 26, 2024

NANS Backs Embattled Allison-Madueke Over Petroleum Reform



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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for an end to all propaganda and blackmail against the minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, as the students on Wednesday mustered support for the under pressure member of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The support may not be unconnected to the two different probes against the embattled minister at the National Assembly.

At the Red Chamber is the probe into allegations that Allison-Madueke illegally transferred four oil blocs, which amount to the sum of N58.9 trillion to the Jide Omokore-owned Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream led by Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

Similarly, the House of Representatives had mandated its committee on public accounts to investigate the alleged squandering of N10 billion government funds on the charter and maintenance of a Challenger 850 aircraft for unofficial use by Alison-Madueke.

Making it’s position on the transformation agenda of the Federal Government on Wednesday, NANS observed that Jonathan’s decision to probe the scam in the oil and gas sector is worthy of commendation.

Comrade Nyanabo Maxwell Soye, NANS senate president, who addressed a peaceful rally before the National Assembly in support of the minister, noted that the sack of the five executive directors in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was a good step in the right direction.

“We are, therefore, bothered when a mammoth scam of N48.9 billion was discovered in the ministry and the nation was thrown into confusion as the nation expects a lot from the industry, while such is not appealing to the transformation agenda of the Presidency.

“Worthy of our appreciation is the swift reaction of the President to probe the scam and bring the perpetrators to book without caring whose ox is gored and restore the battered image of the nation.

“Since the inception of the current administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011, the oil and gas sector has witnessed a wave of activities and performance that have placed the industry on a renewed path of growth and sustained development.

“The President ensured that the erring corrupt five executive directors in the NNPC were promptly sacked, while internal and external probes had been set up to weave out the corrupt practices with a caveat to rid the sector (of) all practices that set it backwards,” Soye said.

Insisting that the corrupt NNPC officials have been duly punished with their sack, Soye observed that the forensic audit set up at the National Assembly will adequately scrutinise the sector and rid it of criminal acts that tend to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

“We hereby call on the public to wait for the forensic audit of the National Assembly rather than castigate the minister that is working assiduously for the betterment and improvement of the ministry and the sector at large,” Soye urged.

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