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ACN, NLC & Others - FG must implement subsidy report

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday warned that the allegations involving the chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on

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قديم 06-16-2012, 01:41 PM
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افتراضي ACN, NLC & Others - FG must implement subsidy report

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday warned that the allegations involving the chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy management, Rep. Farouk Lawan, must not be allowed to scuttle the implementation of the committee’s report. The two organisations said whether or not the chairman or even the entire members of the House committee solicited for, and received gratifications, the final report still contains names and details enough for thorough and transparent investigation to go on. The controversial House Committee report made startling revelations of large-scale fraud of more than N1 trillion in the subsidy regime between 2009 and December last year. The report laid much of the blame for the irregularities on the NNPC, whose board is chaired by Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former board of the PPPRA chaired by Ahmadu Ali, former national chairman of the Peoplers Democratic Party (PDP) and Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited owned by business mogul Femi Otedola who is now at the centre of the bribery allegation involving the sum of $600,000. A press statement signed by Acting President of NLC Comrade Kiri Mohammed said, as serious asit is, the ongoing accusations and counter accusations between Rep. Lawal and the chairman of Zenon Mr Otedola over allegations of bribery “should not be used to divert attention on the implementation of the report of the committee.” The Labour leader said the NLC believes that Nigerians should not be overburdened with an issue that should strictly be the burden of appropriate security agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). “The report, which has been submitted to the executive arm, must be subjected to proper investigation and prosecution of all those indicted,” the Labour lerader said. He added that “we saw in the report as a confirmation of our position. We have, since the mid eighties, insisted that subsidy do not exist in the petroleum sector, rather it has always been a conduit for a few cronies of successive governments with interest in the petroleum sector to siphon public funds for their private businesses. “For us, we believe criminal matters as serious as bribery should be what the police or EFCC should take very serious interest in and not politicize the issue through unnecessary diversionary tactics. We therefore urge the EFCC to implement the report of the committee, which President Jonathan was reported to have forwarded to the agency NOW.” In a similar statement, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) expressed deep concern at the timing of the allegation to coincide with the period that Nigerians expect the government to be dealing with the issues raised in the report. The statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday pointed out that public reaction to the report clearly indicated that the committee had carried out a thorough job in exposing the massive mismanagement and the sleaze involved in the fuel subsidy issue. ‘’Therefore, the allegation of bribery making the rounds should not be used as a reason not to allow all those indicted by the report to have their day in court,’’ ACN said. The party said while the bribery allegation must be thoroughly investigated and anyone found culpable must be dealt with according to the laws of the land. ACN said any attempt to cast aspersion on the report, to say it has been tainted by the bribery allegation, should be resisted by the House of Representatives. ‘’We are concerned that this case is eerily similar to what happened after the House’s probe into the $16 billion reportedly spent in the power sector during the Obasanjo regime. Instead of implementing the report of the committee, the man who presided over the probe was slammed with corruption charges. Till today, that report was never implemented and Nigeria remains in darkness,’’ the statement said.

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