Nuhu Ribadu, newly appointed chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, PRTF, has vowed to ensure a new ethical standard in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, emphasising that unscrupulous players will get a red card.
He spoke at the inauguration of the 21-member task force byDiezani Alison – Madueke, minister of petroleum resources in Abuja.
Assuring the minister and Nigerians of the task force’s readiness to work to meet the people’s expectation, he promised “to set a new ethic by promoting values that support a new dawn of business conduct in the sector,” adding that “those who play by the rules will enjoy all the best support and the unscrupulous players will get a red card”
Ribadu who observed that the perception of the average Nigerian of the oil and gas sector is “between poor and appalling,” advocated an elevation of the value standards in public life.
“The moral terrain of the extractive industry has always been defined by the kind of value and concept of resource curse,” Ribadunoted, while admonishing that “we must reach to an elevated moral standard of public conduct that bring value to our own people and the broad Nigerian community of citizens who seek nothing in their daily lives than their desires for a country defined by higher ethics and noble hopes.”
The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, expressed the belief that the setting up of the task force on petroleum revenue was a means of ensuring that a new level of accountability is attained in the oil and gas sector.
Ribadu also appealed to Nigerians to help the task force with information that would aide its work.
While inaugurating the task force the petroleum minister stated that it was set up in accordance with the federal government’s agenda of reforming the oil and gas industry which is predicated on transparency and accountability.
“Our journey to transformation is irreversible; our mission is to transform the petroleum industry and in doing so change the way that business is currently done; our purpose is to enhance the commercial and technical viability of the sector, inculcating full transparency and accountability, thereby ensuring value for money for the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” she said
Noting that Nigeria had a history of setting up committees and task forces that produce no results, Alison – Madueke assured that this time government really desires a change to break the entrenched interests in the sector.
“We are very mindful that over the years, several panels and committees have been set up to reform the petroleum industry and over the years many of these efforts have been stalled. The time to break these entrenched interests is now,” she said.
The 21 – member task force was set up recently to scrutinize the operations of the oil and gas sector. Its terms of reference include verifying all petroleum industry revenues, including taxes and royalties, collection of all debts due to government and obtaining agreements and enforcing payment terms by all industry operators.
Other members of the task force are Steve Oronsaye, former Head of Service of the Federation, HOSF, who is deputy chairman,AbbaKyari, Benedicta Molokwu, Supo Sasore, Tony Idigbe, AnthonyGeorge-Okoli, Omolara Akanji, Olisa Agbakoba, Ituah Ighodalo, BoniOti, Samaila Zubairu, Ignatius Adegunle and Gerald Ilukwe.