The Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Debo Adeniran discusses the present state of NNPC in this interview with Anthony from Africa Independent Television.
How would you access the oil and gas sector in terms of performance in the last four years?
Thank you so much, I will say that there is stability in the supply of refined product, even when we know that larger portion of the product being used in Nigeria come from importation, our refineries are not yet functioning to the optimal, the ones that are functioning cannot utilize up to 30%, because the change in the price of petroleum product didn’t go down well with average Nigerian. But the supply is continuous; it is something that is not obvious that has not to store anybody complaining that the prices are too high; the earning is from the petroleum industries that it is too high. It is going to the pocket of the mighty in the country, they are not feeling the impact of the earning despite the fact that the government said they would diversify, and the diversification has not been parted positively on the personal economy primary education of Nigeria because people still pay so much to accept education, they pay so much to repair their vehicle because their roads are bad. Petroleum product supposed to give us things to use for the construction of roads.
Apart from the fact that we have Bitumen deposit, we didn’t have the access to the petroleum product to make our roads, and most of the roads are dilapidated in one way or the other. That is not a good impact the creator has in mind to reduce the economic burden. Budget is still largely financed from the earning of petroleum product, the diversification has not reflected in the sector. Basically we are spending money on the administration; Government is still paying subsidy for the importers of petroleum, by extension Nigeria are still been extorted in one way or the other, petroleum product supposed to be cheaper for the citizen if it is been refined here, and it’s a way of creating more jobs for the people. The jobs that come out from petroleum industries go to the people that are powerful and influential not to the children of the masses. We hope there are good changes in this present administration, and they don’t increase the price of fuel because everybody needs petroleum product for their day to day activities.
What is the starting point for the new managing director of NNPC?
The starting point is to look into the book of NNPC, because they are the first to official corruption, they should ensure that the book is clean inside out, because most of the past directors have lived larger than they supposed to, in the previous administration, this present administration said no more subsidy for petroleum product, the sector will definitely be responsible for it. He said that any oil company can import petroleum product at any price that suits their purposes, people thought that NNPC is trying to maintain a balance and for those who want to buy from private industries. This means that government is not working towards achieving the task; they are subsidizing inefficiency, demo rate and cost of importation which Nigerians are not benefiting from, what we expect the new MD to do is, to check the group and look at the ones that can be merge together. We wouldn’t know if he himself is clean from all the corruption that is going on in the sector. Basically, we would advise him to look inward if there is any staff in the sector that is engaging in any corruptible practices that are going on in the sector. He should ensure that he establishes new modular refinery will help the sector to sell fuel at a cheaper rate because it seems like the old refinery is becoming too difficult to maintain. All the artisan refiners should be licensed under the sector and get their hands busy the same way they do to the soldier which the government deployed to the area. Also, the quality control system will be set up to checkmate all these local refineries established by the government to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the economy, and also reduce the number of people that will go to criminality, more hands will be engaged, those that are passing out of school will have something doing.
I’m advising the new GMD to be circumspect in whatever he wants to do so that anybody who wants to work with him can cope so that he won’t issue a license to the quark who do not know what it takes to have a refined product and pollute the market for such petroleum product. It is not much but mighty, because that is a message to the Nigerian economy and the tempo of official corruption in Nigeria. The president himself has to do necessary supervision, not necessarily making himself the minister of petroleum resources, the national assembly should do their oversight function to ensure that there is quality service deliberate from that sector.