Ribadu’s Task Force Report is a Rubbish and Lazy Work – FG
The report of the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force submitted last Friday, has been described by the federal government as not only inconclusive but lacking in substance. Addressing newsmen today in Abuja, Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe told newsmen that the Ribadu Committee failed woefully to do the critical aspect of its terms of reference.
According to him: ‘’ It was a job handled badly and only political and personal interests were bandied. It is most unfortunate. A cursory look at the report mischievously leaked to Reuters and other international media and the one submitted on November 2, 2012 to President Jonathan shows some discrepancies. In the covering letter submitted by President Jonathan and signed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as chairman and Shasore as secretary, the first paragraphs reads:
‘We have the pleasure of reporting the conclusion of the assignment given to the Petroleum Revenue Special task Force in accordance with its terms of reference as laid out at the inauguration of the Task Force. We enclose our final report of work done together with our key findings and recommendations’. This statement is untrue as paragraphs one of the Terms of Reference of the committee mandated it: To work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues[tax royalties, etc] due and payable to federal government of
Nigeria. Unfortunately and most regrettably, this paramount duty of the PRSTF Committee could not be accomplished.’’
The presidential spokesman further explained that Ribadu had admitted in the covering letter to his Committee report that the data used in arriving at its report could not be independently verified and advised the federal government to on its own conduct such necessary verifications and reconciliations.
‘’From the above, therefore the Committee failed to carry out a very critical part of its assignment and instead passed on the duty of reconciliation and verification of data to the government. The further implication of this, which is an obvious disclaimer issued by the committee on the report, makes it
impossible under our laws to indict or punish anybody except, and until, the federal government fully verifies and reconciles the facts as recommended by the committee in its submission to the government’’, Okupe added.
While dismissing the Ribadu Committee’s report as rubbish, the presidential spokesperson assured Nigerians that the federal government would issue a white paper on a weldone and thorough report. ‘’The commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan in ordering a thorough investigation of the petroleum sector is genuine and cannot be faulted. Unfortunately, the entire report is being overtly politicized and there is an obvious attempt in certain quarters to disparage the genuine effort of Mr. President to bring sanity and cleanse the Nigerian oil sector once and for all. All the work that needed to be done to ensure the completeness of the report would be done by government. Government is looking at the report, there will be a white paper on it and it will be implemented’’, Okupe stated.
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