The House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee that reviewed activities in the Oil and Gas sector from 1999 – 2008 indicted former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his then minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr. Edmond Daukoru.
The lower chamber had last week announced that it would, for the umpteenth time, probe the petroleum ministry on alleged irregularities.
But an earlier report resulting from the 1999-2008 thorough investigation of the sector by the House, had recommended tough penalties against the minister of petroleum resources and some petroleum ministry officials responsible for the racketeering in oil blocs awards.
The report which has not been considered, recommended sanctions against Obasanjo, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Edmund Daukoru. Daukoru is now a traditional ruler in Bayelsa State .
The report of the activities in the oil sector submitted to the House in 2008 has never been debated on the floor.
A former member of the House, Mr. Igo Aguma who led the probe, told our correspondent on phone yesterday that the committee had in the report also picked holes in the introduction of the strategic Down stream Programme, one week after a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed, thereby, subverting the bid process.
According to the recommendations of the report, made available to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the then Minister of State, Dr. Daukoru acted on the instruction of the then substantive minister of petroleum, President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Adhoc committee had recommended that, "those who conducted the bid rounds should be disciplined particularly the deal with the Korean Oil Company in respect of OPL 231 and 232 where $2.131 million Dollars signature bonus was signed by KNOC to deceive Nigerians.
"DPR should be disciplined and the matter should be investigated by relevant agencies.
"Particular attention should be paid to the improper motives on the part of the Presidential Adviser, Special Assistants, and officials of the DPR, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN"
The report said that "officials of the DPR though intimidated by the Ministers are not free of blame and should be disciplined.
The committee in the report said, "It was observed to our dismay that only two persons drove the bid round" and recommended that OPL 298 farmed out from OML 265 being operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Developmental Corporation (NPDC) before being given to the Koreans, be revoked and reverted back to the NPDC."
Another report still buried by the House also sought the recovery of N45.9billion owed by the NNPC on tax products.
According to the report of the Hon. Yakubu Dogara-led Committee, the "EFCC should be mandated to recover the sum of N45.9 billion owed by the Corporation [NNPC] to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as there was no basis for the corporation not to pay the said amount as tax on petroleum products imported into the country in line with government policy at that time."
The committee’s recommendation also include that, "government prevails on the EFCC to recover the over $5 billion NESS levy owed by crude oil exporters, and prosecute the firms involved for exporting crude oil in violation of extant laws."
On Temporary Importation and Pre-Releases, the committee said in its report laid in 2009 that from the available NCS’ records, the nation lost more than N38 billion. revenue from 2006 to 2007 due to granting and abuse of temporary importation and pre-releases.
Accordingly, it recommended that, "EFCC should investigate the circumstances under which the above listed firms criminally abused the granting of temporary importation and pre-releases by repeatedly procuring the approvals as a means of defrauding government of revenue.
Also in its recommendation, the House committee led by Hon. Yakubu Dogara said that Customs management should immediately ban and exclude Eron Nigeria Berger Company Limited, Straberg Construction Nigeria Limited, Siemen Limited, Messrs Sterlin Civil Engineering Nigeria Limited, Virgin Nigeria and PW Nigeria Limited among 125 others from securing Temporary Importation until each has shown satisfactory evidence of re-exportation, or payment of duty on goods temporarily imported after verification by the House Committee on Customs.
According to the committee’s recommendation, the customs management should also ban Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, Coscharis Motors Limited, Dangote Industries Limited, West African Portland Cement, Oando Nigeria Limited, Nigerdock Limited, Nigeria Breweries Limited, John Holt Limited, Standard Flour Mills, West Africa Cotton Limited, as well as NECO and WAEC among 98 others from securing pre-releases approval until they have shown satisfactory evidence of perfecting all pre-releases granted to them, with evidence to be shown to the House committee.
The report which is yet to be considered also recommended that EFCC be made to report progress being made in recovering NESS levy or prosecution of the firms, and report to the House on quarterly basis, until the matter is disposed of.
But the former chairman of the ad hoc committee that reviewed the activities of the oil sector told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that the problem of probes in the House is that "Once a report indicts a big man in government, the leadership (principal officers) would want it buried.
He however, said that the problem of the oil and gas sector could only be solved when the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed and signed into law.