Television Africa Network/Serious information and unconfirmed facts have started filtering into Nigeria on how the son of Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of petroleum is living a very stupendous life style in the US – spending hard cash with reckless abandonment.
Why this is an issue is because giving the current state of economic hardship in Nigeria due to mismanagement of public funds by some government officials – and also the recent fuel subsidy removal crisis between government and labour backed mass protest that locked down the country’s economy for almost five days, the Honourable Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke should have known better having before now faced serious allegations of corruption in the past year .
Ugonna Madueke – the high class, jolly good fellow boy is her son. Not only that, the boy kills money. Money many Nigerians now believed are theirs.
Premium Times has published an analysis on why Allison Madueke should be probed. Here is an excerpt:
Last year, NEXT, one of Nigeria’s most respected newspapers, ran a series of investigative reports that linked the minister herself to monumental corruption. The government is yet to act on those allegations. In one of those reports, titled “Oil minister, her jeweller and their sweetheart deal”, the Minister was said to have discretionally licensed one Christopher Aire, a 47-year-old United States-based Nigerian celebrity jewellery designer and merchant, to be lifting crude oil.
Mr Aire’s company, Solid 21 Incorporated, which dealt strictly in jewellery and wristwatches, did not meet any of the criteria spelt out in the guidelines for prospective crude oil lifters. But, between July 9 and July, 2010, he incorporated two companies, Siseno Oil Nigeria Limited, as well as Caligeria Oil Limited. Both companies were to undertake the businesses of petroleum products sales and distribution.
A month after the no-address companies were incorporated, the minister reportedly directed the Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD), the NNPC division in charge of crude oil marketing, to approve crude oil lifting contracts to them to lift 60,000 barrels of crude per day. That was done in clear violation of laid down guidelines requiring companies interested in lifting Nigerian crude to be bona fide end users, with established reputation as large volume traders with global network for at least three years.
In another report also published by NEXT, and entitled “Oil minister in N2.2b bribery scandal”, the minister’s name was mentioned in an elaborate scam which forced marketers to pay huge bribes in exchange for petroleum products import license by the PPPRA. There was also the allegation that she unilaterally assigned prospecting rights in some state-owned lucrative blocks to some briefcase companies without open and competitive bidding.
Irked by these allegations, for which government failed to act, a Lagos-based lawyer, Bartholomew Aguegbodo, sued the minister at a Federal High Court in Lagos. See Lawyer sues Allison-Madueke and “Last minute oil deals that cost Nigeria dear”.
Yet, there are several other allegations for which the minister has to answer questions. So, it appears bizarre that as tainted as she is by these allegations, the government has asked her to lead the effort to clean up the NNPC in particular, and the industry in general.
If government wants to be taken seriously in its bid to enthrone corruption in the industry, it must first probe Mrs. Alison-Madueke herself. It is only when she is found to be clean that she should be allowed to lead the reform of a sector fraught with monumental corruption.