On February 1, 2012, Premium Times presented a list of 20 Nigerians indicted by the KPMG report for a broad range of corrupt abuses of the fuel subsidy funds, effectively costing Nigeria trillions of naira.
Prominent personalities who held various key positions within the petroleum ministry, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) were identified for prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Two months after the Premium Times expose, and more than a year since the report had been made public, the House of Representatives fuel subsidy inquiry report presents a new plank and opportunity for the anti-graft agencies to act upon.
In the lawmakers’ report released Wednesday, no names were mentioned as usual, but pointers were raised in the direction of those deserving of punishment for helping in draining the nation of trillions.
Many of the offices mention correspond with those mentioned in the KPMG.
Again, Premium Times is underlining clearly those pointed at.
More than any other organization, the NNPC is the most criticized by the report and is to refund nearly a trillion naira of illegal self-deductions it made. The report demands a “complete overhaul” of the management and board of the NNPC.
The report says the corporation has been lawless and accounted to nobody. Several times between 2009 and 2011, the corporation processed payments for itself as subsidies, unilaterally “thereby depleting the shares of states and local governments from the distributable pool.” In 2011 alone, such deductions amounted to N847.9 billion.
“While NNPC feasted on the federation account to bloat the subsidy payable, some of the marketers were involved in claiming subsidy on products not supplied.”
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, as the current petroleum minister, heads the NNPC board.
Augustine Olusegun Oniwon
As the current group managing director of the corporation, Mr. Oniwon is in charge of the management.
Mr. Oniwon had also been pointed out in the KPMG report. He was the group general manager, research and development, between 2005 and 2009.
The top-notch position, though not directly related to importation of refined products and subsidy payments, is a managerial position with the officials privileged to key decisions of the corporation.
Perhaps this appears the only position pointedly named at least twice and recommended for further investigation and prosecution: the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency between 2009 and 2011. Mr. Ibikunle was in charge at the time.
He took over as the Executive Secretary between 2009 and 2011. His tenure was marked by allegations by unions, oil dealers and lawmakers accusing him of lack of transparency. He assumed the position after working at the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Of that office, the House report says: “We strongly recommend that those who served as Executive Secretaries of PPPRA from January 2009 to October 2011 should be further investigated/prosecuted by relevant anti-corruption agencies.”
Part of Mr. Ibukun crimes stated in the report include: paying PPPRA from the subsidy fund in excess of administrative charges. The illegal payments were in the sum of N156.5 billion in 2009 and N155.8 billion in 2010 giving a total of N312billion. Mr. Ibikun is also blamed for approving importation contracts for clearly unqualified companies that lacked capacity as required by the law.
“Many companies under his watch who had neither depots nor through-put agreement were allowed to participate in the scheme contrary to the revised eligibility guidelines,” the report said, recommending his “punishment” for “official recklessness.”
Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo
The current governor of Gombe state, Mr. Dankwambo was the Accountant General of the federation between 2005 and 2011 when he stood down to stand for the gubernatorial election.
The Accountant General in 2009 is another slot specifically stuck out for reproach. He is accused of paying N999 million 128 times within 24 hours as subsidy claims totaling N127.9 billion in 2009. The identities of the beneficiaries remained undisclosed, the report says.
The lawmakers say in the report that only 38 marketers were proven to have participated at that time. The report adds: “Even if there were 128 marketers, it was inconceivable that all would have imported the same quantity of products to warrant equal payments.”
The report calls for further investigations and sanctions, and recommends sanctions for the holder of that office for extra budgetary activities between 2009 and 2011.
Curiously, the chairman of the PPPRA board and former chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is only “reprimanded” by the report.
“The chairman of the board of the PPPRA from 2009-2011, and the entire members of the board during the period are hereby reprimanded and their decision which opened the floodgate for the bazaar is condemned in the strongest terms,” the report says.
Michael Abiodun Arokodare
Mr. Arokodare is the current Group Executive Director for Finance and Accounts and a member of the management. He served s a Group General Manager in the accounting directorate between 2007 and 2009. He should provide vital information and answers particularly with several of the past messy procedures believed to be continuing.
Mr. Chukwu is the current Group Executive Director, Exploration & Production, and part of the management as well as the board.
Mr. Yusuf is the Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, and a member of the management and the board.
Mr. Arokodare is the current GED for Finance and Accounts and also a member of the management. He took over from Mr. Lawson in 2009 after serving as a GGM in the directorate between 2007 and 2009. He should provide vital information and answers particularly with several of the past messy procedures believed to be continuing.
Mr. Babakusa is the GED in charge of Business Development and a board and management member.
He was the Group General Manager in charge of Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) between 2007 and 2009; a position specifically mentioned in the KPMG He was also the GED C&I briefly in 2009.
Mr. Abiyesuku is the GED, Corporate Services, and a member of the board and the management.
Mr. Agha is the GED, Engineering and Technology and a former Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). His time at the DPR was mentioned in the KPMG amongst those deserving of investigation and sanctions.
Mr. Ige is the GED, Gas and Power and a member of the management and Board of the NNPC.
Mr. Yakubu is the GED for Exploration and Production. Another member of board and management.
Mr. Madichie is the corporation’s secretary and legal Adviser and a member of the management and Board.