Muhammadu Buhari’s Latest NNPC Scandal Serves Concrete Proof That Not All That Glitters Is Gold!
In 2015, the All Progressive Congress (APC) ran a very captivating political campaign that traversed every nook and cranny of Nigeria. Their number one promise was that, if elected, the new administration led by them would “completely crush and eradicate corruption in Nigeria, and also prosecute and severely punish any offender found guilty.”
To further solidify this intent, the party gave its presidential ticket to a man touted as a beacon of hope and an incorruptible embodiment of honor and integrity – Rtd. General Muhammadu Buhari. However, since assuming office as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, these campaign promises and assertions have been proven to be the greatest well-packaged deception in the country’s history.
Not only has corruption never been addressed as promised, but it has even been brazenly perpetuated and publicly flaunted by countless government officials in ways never before seen or known in Nigeria! This article would never suffice to start listing all the financial atrocities the country has suffered during the tenure of this supposed anti-corruption APC-led government.
We would, however, like to mention one key lesson we’ve learned from the latest alarming report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s (NNPC) latest 107 million crude oil barrels scandal.
Not All That Glitters Is Gold!: In 2015, the APC vigorously alleged that the then PDP and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-led federal government was the most corrupt the country had ever had to endure. They swore that they would do better and bring “change.” If only Nigerians knew that the promised change was for the worse, and their promise to do better was actually at being corrupt and not fighting it!
President Muhammadu Buhari is not only the nation’s president but also the country’s Minister of Petroleum Resources. How and why the touted “crusader against corruption should have ever done this” is a talk for another day. What is mind-boggling on today’s agenda is the fact that, under his direct leadership as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC has now somehow managed to subvert and misappropriate over 107 million barrels of crude oil it allegedly lifted for public consumption between June and July 2019. This amounts to a staggering loss of N7.06 billion to the nation’s account during this period.
According to the recently released audit by the Auditor-General, almost 23,000 litres of petrol that the NNPC alleged to have pumped to two depots (Aba-Enugu and Ibadan-Ilorin) never made it to these depots. The report also highlights significant discrepancies between the amount the NNPC allegedly transferred to the Federations Account against what was reported by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
We’ve also learned that there are about six other audit queries issued in this report against the corporation, and the information is currently being deliberated upon at the Senate and House of Representatives by the houses’ Committees on Public Accounts.
The Auditor-General reports that approximately N6.64 billion is yet to be accounted for by the corporation since 2019. He is also asking the joint Committees presently sitting over this matter to demand an explanation from the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, and compel him to remit the misappropriated funds or face punitive sanctions. You may recall that President Buhari appointed Mele to chair the NNPC reform project in July 2019.
Now, it remains to be seen if the joint house committees will take and implement the recommendations of the Auditor-General’s report. After all, this would not be the first, only, or even the last such report and recommendations that have been swept under the carpet and the erring culprits confidently walking around scot-free in our dear “anti-corruption-driven” government.