Posted by News Express | 5 December 2014 | 2,479 times
The Nigerian Government has been accused of deliberately making the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) redundant and ineffective.
The allegation was made by frontline political scientist and activist, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, while appearing as the premier guest of HEDA Resource Centre’s weekly tweet chat session (#MondayTango on Monday, December 1, 2014) which focussed on ‘Oil Theft and the Nigerian Economy’.
Dr. Ibrahim blamed the sharp increase in oil theft in the Niger Delta to the high level of corruption in the country, as well as the deliberate attempt in making the EFCC redundant and ineffective.
The Nigerian Government, according to him, does not have any active systems that could check the level of corruption in the oil sector, and the economy, in general. He went on to compare the contemporary Nigerian system with that of the First Republic, when, according to him, “stealing 5% of a project budget will take you to jail because systems were in place.”
Dr. Ibrahim described the current fall in oil prices as a welcome development, saying that its sustainability would ensure accountability and a return to taxation by the political class.
In response to the question on the cause of irregular figures of bpd lost to oil theft, Dr. Ibrahim stated that rentiers deliberately give different figures as a means of covering the active level of corruption in the sector. He cited Angola as one of the countries where accurate figures are always given because the country (Angola) “placed metres on all pipelines so they know (the) exact production” of oil.
Dr. Ibrahim stressed the fact that the Nigerian Government has refused to follow the footsteps of the Angolan Government in this regard, even though the metres, if placed, would help monitor the production and export of oil from the country.
The activist opined that the ruling class (Presidents inclusive) in the country has been the only beneficiaries of oil exploration activities. He buttresses this point by stating, categorically, “how an American court judgement showed that an oil company bribed four successive Nigerian presidents.”
Dr. Ibrahim rounded up the session by stressing that the Nigerian Government is not transparent in its fight against oil theft. “The Nigerian Government exists on the basis of deepening oil theft,” he declared.
•Photo shows Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim.
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