PDP tasks govt on al­leged N378b NLNG scan­dal S’su­dan woos Nige­rian en­ergy in­vestors

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - PANORAMA - From Kelvin Ebiri (Port Har­court) and Az­i­mazi Mo­moh Ji­moh (Abuja)

THE Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) has chal­lenged Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and the All Pro­gres­sives Con­gress (APC) to clear the air on the N378 bil­lion Nige­rian Liq­ue­fied Nat­u­ral Gas (NLNG) pro­ceeds al­legedly di­verted as oil sub­si­dies. It there­fore urged the Na­tional As­sem­bly to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter with a view to un­rav­el­ing who au­tho­rised the al­leged with­drawals as well as the ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

In a state­ment by its na­tional public­ity sec­re­tary, Kola Olog­bondiyan, PDP stated: "Nige­ri­ans were star­tled by rev­e­la­tions of how the funds from the NLNG, an agency un­der Pres­i­dent Buhari's di­rect su­per­vi­sion as Min­is­ter of Pe­tro­leum, were se­cretly lifted and spent with­out the ap­pro­pri­a­tion of the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

"Avail­able in­tel­li­gence showed that the pres­i­dency ca­bal cor­nered the money un­der the guise of sub­sidy pay­ments but al­legedly di­verted a huge part of it to mem­bers of the ca­bal and some key APC lead­ers which they used to fi­nance their waste­ful life­styles, in­clud­ing ac­quir­ing posh prop­erty within and out­side the coun­try.”

The party noted that "such hu­mon­gous cor­rup­tion and steal­ing of tril­lions of naira in the oil and gas sec­tor are di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the bit­ing eco­nomic re­ces­sion and its at­ten­dant high cost of liv­ing, acute hunger and star­va­tion, poor liv­ing stan­dard, di­lap­i­dated in­fra­struc­ture, es­ca­lated vi­o­lence and high mor­tal­ity rate in the coun­try in the last three and half years."

Mean­while, the South Su­dan Min­is­ter of En­ergy and Dams, Dr. Dhieu Mathok, has en­joined Nige­ri­ans to in­vest in his coun­try's LNG in­dus­try.

He spoke yes­ter­day af­ter a meet­ing with Rivers State Gov­er­nor Nye­som Wike at Gov­ern­ment House, Port Har­court.

"We are com­mer­cial­is­ing the NLNG in­dus­try in South Su­dan. That is why we are look­ing for part­ners who can de­velop our en­ergy sec­tor,” he said.

The min­is­ter told his host that he was pleased with the in­fra­struc­ture on ground, urg­ing the ci­ti­zens to sup- port the gov­er­nor in his quest to trans­form the state.

Mathok ob­served that there were some de­vel­op­men­tal projects in Rivers which his home coun­try would like to repli­cate.

Wike, how­ever, told his guest that the state has for decades been an in­vest­ment desti­na­tion ow­ing to its seren­ity and rich en­dow­ments.

INFO¬RMA­TION Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy (ICT) con­trib­uted 11.81 per cent to Nige­ria’s eco­nomic growth in the seco¬nd quar­ter of this year, Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari dis­closed yes­ter­day. The fig­ure was 1.81 per cen¬t above the 2017 sta­tis­tics.

He ob­served that gov­ern­ment’s pa­tron­age of lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors of hard­ware and Orig­i­nal Equipm¬ent Man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMS) was im­pres­sive as min­istries, d¬epart­ments and agen­cies (MDAS) im­ported about 80 per cent of the prod­uct throu¬gh the ven­dors.

Buhari, who was speak­ing yes­ter­day at the 2018 e-nige­ria In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence¬ and Ex­hi­bi­tion or­gan­ised by the Na­tiona¬l In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Devel­op­ment Age¬ncy (NITDA) in Abuja, de­scribed the theme of the event, Pro­mot­ing Dig­i­tal Econ­omy in¬ an Era of Dis­rup­tive Tech­nolo­gies Throu¬gh Ef­fec­tive Reg­u­la­tions, as apt.

The pres­i­dent clar­i­fied that Ex­ec­u­tive Or­ders 003 ¬and 005 were to boost de­liv­er­ables from¬ the sec­tor. His words: “This ad­min­is­tra­tion’s com­mit­ment to­war¬ds de­liv­er­ing good gov­er­nance and de­velo¬pment to our peo­ple is much stronger tha¬n be­fore, con­sid­er­ing the huge role of I¬CT in the suc­cesses recorded in the past¬ three and half years.

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari (right); Chair­man, Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Devel­op­ment Agency (NITDA), Prof. Ade­olu Akande; Di­rec­tor-gen­eral, Dr. Isa Patami; Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Chair­man (EVC), Nige­rian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Dan­batta, and Key­note Speaker, Mal­lam Nuhu Ribadu (left), dur­ing Buhari’s ar­rival for the enige­ria 2018 Con­fer­ence in Abuja …yes­ter­day.

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