In the aftermath of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee report on fuel subsidy that recommended, among other things the appointment of two minister’s to oversee the petroleum ministry, prominent Nigerians and stakeholders have rejected the proposal.
Rather, they were of the opinion that those found culpable by the ad-hoc committee Report should be prosecuted.
Respected Second Republic governor of Kaduna State Alhaji Balarabe Musa said that the recommendation calling for the appointment of two oil ministers was superficial. He said: “What the government should do is to address this chaos and looting in the oil industry.
Although I have not seen the full report, the recommendations from the Executive Summary have confirmed scandal and anarchy in the oil industry.
“I think the situation calls for a revolutionary change. It appears there is no leadership, no system. The president must act.
“What Nigerians should now insist on is punishment for those who have committed infractions. It is not a question of appointing two oil ministers.
“Some of these companies were given foreign exchange to import fuel but they did not. The government should have the courage to expose the directors of these oil companies and let the law take its course.
“Also, some companies were invited but they did not honour the invitation of the ad-hoc committee. Those who treated the committee with contempt should not be allowed to get away with it.
“The government should look beyond the superficial appointment of two oil ministers; it should implement the recommendations to restore sanity.”
For his part, the national publicity secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Comrade Osita Okechukwu, said: “I think the issue is not about two ministers, it is about how to address the endemic corruption in the oil sector.
“The corruption should be tackled from the top with the immediate sack of all those at the top of these oil agencies.
“We demand the immediate prosecution of Senator Ahmadu Ali under whose watch such sleaze was perfected. Every other officer involved should be punished.”
Also, a former governorship candidate in Delta State , Chief Collins Eselemo, said: “Nigerians expected the committee to come up with concrete solutions to improve the subsidy management but others are talking of the appointment of two oil ministers.
Does having two ministers go to solve the mess being piled up on the people of the Niger Delta? Does appointing two people in a ministry address the problem of corruption?
“Having two ministers in the oil sector is like creating more bureaucracy for the industry. This development will slow down decision-making process
“What is the essence of a bloated cabinet in an era that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is trying to save cost?”
“Didn’t we have two oil ministers under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua? Yet, we could not move far on key issues like the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“As far as I am concerned, the ad hoc Committee is only begging the issue. So, for all what Nigerians suffered for on fuel subsidy, it is the appointment of a new minister that is the solution.”
The Hon. Farouk Lawan-led ad-hoc committee had indicted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s management and board, senior officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and fraudulent marketers.
The committee also directed NNPC, PPPRA and the oil marketers to refund N1.067 trillion to the coffers of the federal government for illegally drawing subsidy funds without importation.
The committee also recommended the prosecution of errant officials found wanting for violations that cost the nation trillions of Naira.