Bayelsa-based Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC), has faulted the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance, Dr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, on a statement credited to him, where he alleged that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, should be held responsible for the N321 billion allegedly missing from the Federation Account.
Jibrin was quoted by NDIMRC as saying that out of the N1.837 trillion that accrued to the Federation Account, only N1.516 trillion was remitted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), stressing that the minister as the chairman of the board of the NNPC should be held responsible for the N320.654 billion shortfall.
But NDIMRC said in a statement by its President, Nelly Emma; Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer, Mukoro Stanley, that the allegation was wicked and mischievous.
NDIMRC also argued that the allegation had political undertone and urged the minister not to be discouraged from giving her best of service to the country.
“We strongly believe that the recent allegation by the House of Representatives Chairman on Finance against the Petroleum Minister has political undertone and it is all about 2015 and President Goodluck Jonathan. The Petroleum Minister is a committed patriot; she is serving her country to the best of her ability. We want to say that all is well with the level of accountability in the oil and gas sector,” said the statement.
NDIMRC lauded what it called the commendable efforts of the Petroleum Minister since she came on board, adding that the minister is accountable. According to the group, the minister has brought sanity into the oil and gas sector, thus deserving praise and not condemnation.
“The minister should continue her good work; she is on a thankless national assignment. We are not in a hurry to forget how previous ministers from other parts of the country shared oil blocks to prominent individuals from a certain section of the country, thereby fuelling the poverty in the oil-rich Niger Delta region,” the group added.
The group however implored the minister to take urgent steps to give a better deal to the people of the South-south region.
“The time has come for the minister to listen to the cries of our people by placing them in good positions in the oil and gas sector of the economy. The Minister should also ensure that our local contractors are given a fair deal by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country,” the group added.
Information from This Day was used in this report.