Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria: Corruption in Oil Sector - Nigeria Loses N75 Billion Monthly - Ribadu

The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, said on Wednesday, that up to $500 million (N75bn) of Nigeria's oil revenue gets drained monthly as a result of the opacity that bedevils Nigeria's oil sector.

According to Mr. Ribadu, who last year headed the Presidential Task Force on Oil Revenue, the losses were exclusive of the several other billions lost in oil theft and other sharp practices in the industry.

Speaking when he received the British Minister for International Development, Lynne Featherstone, who paid a visit to him in Abuja, the retired anti-corruption czar said that efforts made to clean up the system are often resisted by people who benefit from the corrupt system.

"Anything in terms of reform would mean stopping that shadowy practice and it also means more money for government," he said, citing the example of the work of his committee on oil revenue which he said is yet to be given the needed consideration by the government.

Mr. Ribadu also expressed scepticism over the possibility of cleaning up the system through the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, arguing that there is no political will to implement whatever provisions for transparency are made in the bill.

Politics

Mr. Ribadu, who was the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, CAN, in the 2011 general elections, expressed confidence over the possibility of the current moves of opposition parties to dislodge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

According to him, the formation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, will give opposition politics a boost as it will eliminate tendencies of ethnic and sectional politics which characterised opposition politics in recent past.

He, however, raised doubts about the possibility of having free and fair election, especially due to the "manipulation of the process by those in charge and the influence of money in the electioneering process."

Mr. Ribadu canvassed for the continuous support of the United Kingdom in the areas of strengthening democracy and war against corruption.

He also acknowledged the support the EFCC, under his leadership, received from the U.K. government through the Department for International Development, DFID.

Ms. Featherstone said the visit to Mr. Ribadu was part of her nationwide tour to meet with political actors and other leaders with a view to reinforcing the nascent democratic culture in Nigeria.

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