Home BUSINESS I De Kamkpe – Petroleum Minister: Says She’s Going Nowhere For Asylum

I De Kamkpe – Petroleum Minister: Says She’s Going Nowhere For Asylum

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja
Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has made it clear that she will remain in Nigeria and not contemplating of going anywhere outside the country to hide as being speculated, with General Muhammadu Buhari preparing to take over government from President Goodluck Jonathan, having won the March 28 Presidential election.
Diezani, who fielded questions from newsmen today at the Presidential Aso Villa, Abuja, said that she had not committed any offence or act of corruption for which the incoming government of General Buhari would nail her and for which she would want to run away.
The minister said that she had not sought for asylum from any country, adding that such news about her seeking for asylum and being rejected by six countries has been on for sometime now.
“I have not sought such assistance because I am not aware that I have been indicted of any crime that I will need a soft landing.
“Over the last four years, I have been severally and unfortunately accused and labeled in so many malicious and vindictive ways.
“I have explained these things and pushed back robustly on these accusations and I have even gone to court on many of them. Yet they keep being regurgitated.
“I think it is unfortunate, particularly when we are moving into a transition period and looking forward to an incoming government which is coming to take over where we have ended.”
Diezani said she was surprised at the scale of what she called “malicious libel” directed at her person.
The minister insisted that she has done the best for Nigeria in her present job and has attained many firsts in the history of oil and gas through the reforms she initiated.
Diezani said that she is being targeted because of her boldness to bruise powerful interests in the oil and gas industry.
“In this period of time, I have stepped on many big toes, particularly the toes of the cabals that were in the industry when we came in.
“I have said severally said that we will open up the industry to all Nigerians, and we have, but that is not to the pleasure of certain cabals. And I have been continuously maligned because of this.”
She said that during her tenure, her ministry took billions of dollars from multinationals and their subcontractors and put them in the hands of Nigerians through the Nigerian content law.
She added that with the reforms initiated under her watch, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians are now playing major roles in the oil and gas industry, a situation she said has irked many people.
She lamented that even after the Petroleum Industry Bill was completely revised and reformed, the National Assembly has failed to pass it into law two years after it was presented.
The minister said that the refund of the missing $1.48 billion from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commenced even as she debunked the claims that the money was missing from the accounts of the NNPC.
According to her, the funds were transferred to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an NNPC subsidiary.
A forensic audit conducted by the PriceWaterHouseCoopers on behalf of the Federal Government on the operations of the NNPC had shown that the management of the corporation engaged in many questionable deals.
The audit was carried out following allegations by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, that over $20 billion was missing from the NNPC accounts.
“PriceWaterHouseCooper’s forensic audit that was done a few weeks ago in its recommendation mentioned that $1.48 billion was owed by NDPC for a bloc that has hitherto been assigned from the NNPC to NDPC which is its subsidiary and they felt that the right process would be that the NPDC will refund that money to the Federation Account.
“NPDC has apparently started making the refunds and it is also in discussion with NNPC and DPR on same. So the refund has actually begun.” [myad]

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