House Probes Nnpc’s Crude Oil Swap, Says Not For Witch Hunt
SAN FRANCISCO, January 19, (THEWILL) – Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has declared that the House of Representatives' investigation into the Oil Swap Agreement contract of the NNPC is not aimed at witch-hunting any person but aimed at reviewing and re-positioning the oil sector to make it more productive.
Speaking while declaring the public hearing, by the House Ad-Hoc Committee investigating the Oil Swap Agreement contract of the NNPC, open at the National Assembly, Dogara noted that it had become imperative for the country to improve on the available resources and utilize the oil to drive the economy in order to stimulate development in the country.
“Our goal here is not to witch-hunt, no! It is essentially a diagnostic review with the aim of re-positioning the oil sector to perform its role as a major primer of the nation's development,” he declared.
“The issue of transparency in the management of the oil sector considering its significance to the economy of Nigeria is at the very heart of our nation's development challenge, especially at this time of dwindling revenue resulting from the continued drop in oil prices.
“It is in recognition of this pivotal role which the oil sector plays in aiding development that the present House of Representatives decided to place enormous emphasis on the improvement of the sector especially, and to insist on the transparent, professional, and efficient management of all resources. This is the only way the Change Agenda of this administration can be actualized.”
He further explained that the essence of the investigation is to expose abuses and losses accrued to the nation with the hope of revitalizing the sector to make it more efficient and transparency driven adding that a vibrant oil sector will have diverse positive effects in different sectors of the economy.
“It is hard to put in words the level of frustration Nigerians have had to face with the NNPC and indeed the oil industry; the impact of this on the wider economy and the level of inefficiency in the entire energy value chain. We have an opportunity now to right the wrongs of the past. It starts from our doing a thorough job of this assignment,” he said.
“If we could pause to imagine for one moment what the effect of a vibrant oil sector driven by efficiency and innovation, would mean to the Nigeria energy sector, power, textile industry, rice mills, the manufacturing start-ups, assembly plants, manufacturing, agribusiness development in general, aviation, communication, cost of doing business, insecurity, service delivery, technology adoption, life expectancy of Nigerians both in the rural and urban areas, SMEs and unemployment, etc. The implications and ramifications are immense, indeed they are enormous. Therefore, we cannot afford to fail, Nigerians will not afford half measures.”
Story by David Oputah