The Federal Government, yesterday, attributed the delay in moving against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to efforts being made to establish the magnitude of fraud and inefficiencies in the corporation and in the oil and gas industry over the last couple of years.
Speaking in an interview on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA’s, ‘Good Morning Nigeria,’ programme, President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that the government was already working with some individuals that are helping it to track the destination of stolen crude oil and the accounts the proceeds were paid into.
He also reassured during the interview that only patriotic, decent and experienced Nigerians would be appointed as ministers in his government even as he lamented the state of the Air Force, which according to him could not support ground troops in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists due to lack of serviceable equipment.buhari
He said: “Frankly, I read the stories too that I intend to break up the NNPC. I think the best way to go about it is to establish the fact of the magnitude of the inefficient way the NNPC conducted itself. When we do that we will be on a higher moral ground to carry out whatever recommendations that have been made to us.”
He maintained that the NNPC has lost track of the number of accounts it had, adding that the government was discreetly working with some Nigerians to ensure that perpetrators of fraud in the oil and gas sector were brought to book.
“We have to maintain high confidentiality so that we do not put at risk some of the Nigerians that are helping us to trace some of the destinations of this stolen crude and then the accounts where they are being paid into instead of the Federal Government account.
“I do not think the NNPC knows how many accounts are outside there, which payments are being made for Nigerian crude which is really an outright theft. The money we want to intercept which have been going on for a number of years, a lot of Nigerians will not comprehend,” he explained.