Ribadu, Oronsaye clash at petroleum task force report presentation

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From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja

The bombshell by former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force yesterday, challenging the process leading to the compilation of the report of the committee  almost marred the presentation of the committee. When he raised his hand to comment shortly after the Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, submitted the report, nothing prepared President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison- Maduekwe and others present for the bombshell and the embarrassment that was to follow.

The presentations of reports of the three task forces on petroleum industry were going smoothly until that moment after Ribadu submitted the report of his own committee. The three presentations were those of; the committee established to design a new corporate governance code for ensuring full transparency, good governance and global best practices in the NNPC and other oil industry parastatals which had Mr. Dotun Sulaiman as its Chairman; and the Committee headed by Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu which was charged with the duty of conducting a high-level assessment of the nation’s refineries and recommending ways of improving their efficiency and commercial viability and the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force.

But it was President Jonathan’s jokes teasing jorunalists that they were going to have a swell day reporting what happened that doused the tension in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa. Jonathan who obviously was embarrassed by the altercation, however called on Nigerians not to be distracted by the small disagreement but to focus on the subject matter of the committee which is the sanitisation of the Petroleum Sector for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.

The President whose disagreement with some of the submissions of Ribadu in response to Oronsaye’s disagreement, urged any member of the Committee who had a contrary opinion from those expressed in the report to submit his opinion to him (president) through his chief of staff or the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Trouble started when Ribadu submitted his report and spoke on his recommendation of a stricter regulation of the sector especially as regards collection of revenue from oil companies. According to him, “Mr president, the recommendation of our task force will strengthen institutions responsible for  the management of petroleum institution, increase revenue accruing to federal government of Nigeria.

“Mr. President our assignment is essentially to enhance government revenue in proving transparency and accountability and help you to fight corruption in this industry. Therefore in the course of the assignment, our work was extensive, our findings detailed and our recommendations far reaching in these various issues covered in our terms of reference” On the recommendation of the committee, the chairman said to increase government  revenue from the industry, “the government will need to put in place a coherent financing solution that allows government to fund its obligation under the joint venture contract.

Funding Government obligation will unlock additional capital from our JV partners which will overtime increase government revenue from the proportionate additional balance of crude oil revenues, royalties on he entire production and taxes on taxable incomes” He added: “Funding Government obligation will unlock additional capital from our JV partners which will overtime increase government revenue from the proportionate additional balance of crude oil revenues, royalties on he entire production and taxes on taxable incomes.

“Most of he recommendations are about management, about  people and about how we run our own affairs. It probably may not have to do with the law. PIB or no PIB, some of these things right now can be implemented and even if PIB comes, it will still be very important in getting the result. “The federal government should take action on issues of outstanding royalties, petroleum revenue task, and various penalties  for example, gas flaring penalties. “Mr. president, the companies that are operating in Nigeria today are making huge money from our country.

A lot of them are going out and investing in other parts of the world. The  least they can do is to give us our own entitlement. We have found out that so many of them, even simple thing as royalties they don’t pay. We need the money. We need them here. We need them to continue to do business but let them also look at us and give us what is certainly our own entitlement. “Mr. President, another point I will properly highlight is the use of traders to sell our own crude oil.

Look at it critically, Nigeria is the only country in the world today doing that other than Congo. I don’t think we should be comfortable in the neighbourhood of Congo. We have our own crude, we can sell directly like what other countries are doing. “Mr.President increasing crude oil theft is a national tragedy and has grave consequences and there is need for urgent government action. One of the main reasons we are losing people who are interested in coming to do business in Nigeria is that so many countries today are discovering crude oil even within our region. Ghana, Serria Leone, Liberia. Companies do have options.

We have to work hard to make our place attractive for people to come and do business with us. “The insecurity in the Niger Delta. The theft of crude oil, Nigeria is the only country in the world where people steal crude oil. Mr. President, it is embarrassing. You have done well already, you are doing it, but you probably have to continue with it because you have to put a stop to it” he said. No sooner had Ribadu finished his submission when Orosanye who was former Permanent Secretary in the State House, raised objections on what he said was the “flawed process” adopted by the committee in arriving at its report.

His position was colloborated by another member of the committee, Mr. Bernard Otti who dissociated himself from the report because according to him, members did not see the report before it was submitted to the president. However, two other members of the committee, Sumaila Zubair who is the acting secretary of the Committee and Ignatius Adegunle rejected the submission of Oronsaye and Otti saying they never took part in the meetings of the committee. According to Oronsaye, “I want to say to you, Mr. President that the process that has been followed is flawed and the report that has just been submitted to the Honourable minister is the immediate reaction of the President’s directive that the report be submitted.

“The last time this committee met was in early July when the draft report was to be considered and I raised certain pertinent issues. It was agreed and suggested and accepted at that meeting that a small group be put together to review, modify and return to the report drafting committee before presenting to the whole house. That did not happen. No matter how good the efforts that have been put into this exercise, as long as the process is flawed and that report is one that can not be implemented. “When Mr. President gave the directive that the report be submitted today, we should be man enough to say, it is not feasible.

When I came in, I asked the secretary, where is the signature page? He said the chairman is to sign for all of us. I said certainly, I have not authorised any body to sign on my behalf. “I don’t know what the report contains. Therefore, in my view, I do not think the report should be accepted at this time, I challenge any member of this committee take me up. “It is unfortunate that the point has been missed on the process issue. We agreed that the committee be brought to a committee of the whole House. That was not done. Some of the figures that were in the draft report were un-reconciled figures and I did say at that meeting that we have institutions responsible for these figures and therefore you should work with these institutions.

I do not know whether DPR and FIRS are here. These are the people who should be talking about these figures and there were statements that were subjective. “What I am saying is that the President has said come and submit the report, so what, if we are not ready, we are not ready. When I say so what, the President has spoken, we should be man enough to tell the President that we are not ready. That is the reason you are handing over a report that is not process driven.” Mallam Ribadu who was asked by the president to respond to the remarks by the duo of Oronsaye and Otti accused them of having compromised their positions in the committee and ought to have resigned their membership since they had accepted to be members of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

According to him, “this task force was set up in February and we started work almost immediately. Most of the members you are seeing here abandoned everything they were doing and gave everything to it. We worked almost everyday for about three months. Steve Oronsaye never participated even one day in the deliberation of this committee. Not even for a single day. He never.  The first time  we saw Steve was at the end of work when we were asking about recovery from companies that he jumped in. All the members are here they can bear witness to all I’m saying. Secondly, Mr. President, it is your government, it is your work and whatever it is it’s you and nobody else. This recommendation is for you to use.

You thought it wise to call people from outside to come into the industry and look at it critically and give you an honest opinion. “During the work of the committee, Oronsaye got himself appointed on the board of NNPC. The other gentleman who spoke, Otti became the director of finance of NNPC and they decided to more or less bully everybody to take over. And they wanted us to write for them but committee members refused. “By the time they were appointed the honuorable the thing they would have done was to resign from the committee. They refused to resign. Steve has not been in the country he flew in this morning for him to come and do this and I think our president deserves more respect than what you have done now.”

President Jonathan while down playing the disagreement between the members turned to the pressmen and said, “I know my friends in the media will have a filled day tomorrow.” He added that “any member that has any observations should write it and send to me through the chief of staff or the minister. “If there are errors of calculation from the institutions it  will be filtered out. You don’t need to quarrel about it. Government has no interest in hiding any thing. It is not to investigate anybody in government.

Becoming board members of NNPC does not disqualify them to be members, sometimes you need those in establishment to explain certain things and not to influence anybody. I don’t believe anybody can influence Ribadu negatively.” The Minister of Petroleum Resources, who was obviously lost for words before submiting the reports to President Jonathan called on Nigerians to down-play the disagreement between members of the committee and focus on the salient recommendations contained there in.

She expressed appreciation to members of the committees while expressing hope that necessary steps will be taken to implement the recommendations of the committees as directed by the president. “I will not allow this to reduce the extent of hard work that people of integrity have done. They have done good work. It is more critical to concern ourselves  about  how well we will move forward when we finalize”.

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43 Comments

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  2. From all indications I trust Ribadu statement than the so-called Steve Oronsaye who is looking for relevance.How would Mr Steve Oronsaye and co know what is going on in the report when they did not participate in most of the committe’s meetings!! Mr Oronsaye is just a show-off man ! big shame on him for even opening his mouth in the public thereby causing Our President a big public embarrassment,Mr President should reprimand Mr Oronsaye and Otti..These are men of dishounor

    • don’t be in a haste to conclude, especially when u are talking on assumption. You weren’t there with them, so how do u know? Ribadu may have kept steve in the dark from day 1. Even if Steve join the board of NNPC, that does not disqualify him from the comittee. Saying so is an indirect way of declaring the NNPC an enemy. We ought to be Diplomatic and tactical on our approach to issues like this and not being stupidly blunt!

      • Mr Stev,or what ever u call ur self, u hv only succeeded to display ur present demishing reture posture. What shame !!!

      • Mr Stev,or what ever u call ur self, u hv only succeeded to display ur present demishing return posture. What shame !!!

  3. Thank you, Mr President for ably parrying off a would- have – been huge embarassment from Mr Steve Oronsaye.While Mr Oronsaye’s comments should be critically looked into when put in writing, it is right to observe that his action fell very far below expectation especially as a former top civil servant of the federation.If it is discovered that he did not fully participate the business of the committee or did so even by proxy,he should be thoroughly sanctioned. The way that brush in front of Mr president is handled will tell observers the way the report will go.

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  5. Kudos to you mr president. You did well for accepting the report and creating room for oppositions to make their disagreements known and formal tru writing -a well thought out decision. But rmbr, whatsoever they came up wt should be looked in2, and may the recommendations that wld be to the best interest of nigerians be implemented.

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  7. People always know that anytime a tasks iven to Mr ribadu head must surely rolls kudos to u ribadu people salute your courageous moved and also great salute to our beloved president for is wisdom .but people have seen mr oresanya and is co opt not fit to participate in such an important matters what a shame he should be ask to resign.people are watching and waiting for things to unfold .enough of mis-management .

  8. Mr. Steve is an experienced retired servant. He may be right. I once had a female boss who was not bold enuf to tell our rector the situation of things in our unit. She neva agreed to add our huge expenses to her monthly report but she add the little Renue from the unit. She want cheap praises from the rector as against her immediate past head. Our unit was Performing in monthly reports but actualy sufering. She writes what the rector want to see. She wants her cash advances approved. “But anty, what if u are askd to bring this money” i queried, then a clerk but she neva replied. The bad report affected the school and d rector when he expectd d unit to raise money during a short fall. Its common in Nigeria to right sweet sweet performing report when accessing progress and Departmental performance. But if u want to know wether those report are truthful or not; after one month, tell same person to report the areas affecting him so you release some fund to improve the dept. Ask him to come up with facts. This is when you will know the first progres report was mess. Mr. President and Governors are the problem. The masses are their own problem. The leaders are leading according to information they have. They cant be here and there same time. These bad reports affects nations Budgets too. Even when fund is released, how will the president or governor know dat 80% of those hospital equipment he releasd fund to buy were not bought though he saw the equipments during comissioning because they were only hired and returnd after d comisioning. Tell the leaders truth, yes they may hate u but sooner or later, they wil realise u are d one helping their govt. When u gve leaders bad report, they prepare bad budget.

  9. The President acted like King Solomon. This leadership thing is not cheap o. Let nobody thing it is an all comers’ affair. Leaders are born. Learning and experience is sure needed, but to be a leader is a gift, a calling from God. To be a writer, a musician, a footballer, a seer, a clown etc, even when it requires some kind of training, it still has to first be a calling for it to flow naturally. Goodluck Jonathan has proved that he was called to serve, even with some of this little on-the- spot decisions, among many. Let’s pray for him, and at that Nigeria to succeed.

    • I don’t know the power of darkness responsible for the obstructions that we do notice each time a maintenance, investigations or probe is to be done in the oil ministry. The Farouk Lawal senate committe on oil subsidy mismanagement, presently Nuhu Ribadu led investigatory and reports presentation panel on the oil ministry actions and inactions. This same oil ministry had the former president OBJ as its minister from 2003 to 2007 while he was equall the president. Can someone pls tell me what this ministry’s fate may be?

  10. Steve and Benard Oti are probably on a sting operation Femi was. But who have am appointed the guts to embarrass the president if he is not working for the opposition. Sss should check him out.

  11. Steve and Benard Oti are probably on a sting operation like Femi was. But who gave an appointee the guts to embarrass the president if he is not working for the opposition. Sss should check him out.

  12. steve oresanya, was he not the one that recommended the scrapping of ICPC,FRSC,etc the age long apologists of nigerian bureaucracratic hurdles infinito! the geriatrics officials running nigerian civil service and the youth are endlessly unemployed, they are the nigerian problem clique groups who ll insist to have solution to the problems of nigeria. He was hired by the indictees to bury the report before it’s being implemented these are the calibre of elders running nigeria who if in china should be sent jail.

  13. It is embarrassing to the President and the Country at large that a man like Orosanye who the Country so much valued to have risen to the position of Head of service will wait till that day before complaining. He has learnt nothing for his 35 yrs in civil service. It is a shame.

  14. THAT IS NIGERIA FOR YOU, WHEN SOUTH EAST SAW ALL THIS THAT IS HAPPENING NOW WE TOLD THEM TO STILL TIGHT WITH NIGERIA OOOH IGBO PEOPLE REALLY SAW TOMORROW, AM NOT FROM IGBO BUT I REALLY SEEING WHAT THEY SAW THAT MADE THEM TRYING TO OWN THEIR OWN STATE, NIGERIA IS A FAILED STATE AND THE HORROR WE SAW TODAY IS WHAT IGBOS SAW MANY YEARS AGO AND TRYING TO AVOID FROM IT, BUT NIGERIA ARMY AND BRITISH ARMY COULDNT LET THEM GO, OOOOH NIGERIA A FAILED STATE, NIGERIA WILL CRASH WATCH IT, JUST WATCH IT DEAR I KNOW IT AND IGBO SAW IT MANY YEARS AGO, I LOVE IGBO’S ALTHOUGH AM NOT FROM IBO BUT THEY HAVE BRAIN AND SAW TOMORROW, NIGERIA HAVE ALREADY FAILED THE NORTH AND YERUBAS YOU SEE NOW YERUBA IS ASKING FOR ODUDUWA REPUBLIC THAT IS WHAT AWOLOWO COULD HAVE GIVE THEM IF HE LISTENED TO OJUKWU, HAUSA IS NOW ASKING FOR ARIWA REPUBLIC THEY WILL PERISH IN BOKO HARAM, IBOS ARE LONG AGO ASKING FOR BIAFRAN REPUBLIC, WE MIDDLE BET WILL HAVE THE NIGERIA OOH NIGERIA IS A FAILED STATE

  15. Everything was stage managed to kill the report on arrival.Orosanye did well to defend his seat at NNPC. GEJ’s reaction shows that he was aware of the impending drama to ridicule the report.

  16. Mr Steve Oronsaye statement/comment could have come earlier if he has 100% interest of this country at heart. He have made it know to the office of Mr. President that he was never carry allong and present letter of resignation if nothing could be done to address his view.
    One can say that poeple are looking for relevance instead of genuine readiness for service to the Nation. Steve Oronsaye could have been a great hero if he had cried out earlier. One can say that he shouting for interest of minorities who are benefitting from the Petroleum sector unjustly.
    But I want to assure you all that more interesting and shocking revelations will be on air very shortly.
    Lastly, Mr. Ribadu comment did not sound personal ,it carries interest of the Nation.
    Let us wait and see. Mr. President approach to the issue on the sport is also welcome. May God bless Nigeria

  17. Mr Steve Oronsaye statement/comment could have come earlier if he has 100% interest of this country at heart. He shoul have made it known to the office of Mr. President that he was never carried allong and present letter of resignation if nothing could be done to address his view.
    One can say that poeple are looking for relevance instead of genuine readiness for service to the Nation. Steve Oronsaye could have been a great hero if he had cried out earlier. One can say that he shouting for interest of minorities who are benefitting from the Petroleum sector unjustly.
    But I want to assure you all that more interesting and shocking revelations will be on air very shortly.
    Lastly, Mr. Ribadu comment did not sound personal ,it carries interest of the Nation.
    Let us wait and see. Mr. President approach to the issue on the sport is also welcome. May God bless Nigeria

  18. Chukwunonso Nwafor on

    This is the Lord’s doing, Mr president is now in your shoe, any disagreement one must be telling the truth is now for you to know who is telling the truth, but for me Oronsaye is the one telling the truth, because were majority is corrupt few is on truth side. If Oronsaye did not participated even for one day did you report? As the chirman of any committee when you hand over report is not only paper, you have to make comment when Ribadu comment after his paper, he did not say that Oronsaye did not participate untill the man saide that he is not in support of the report. ONLY TIME WILL TELL WHO IS RIGHT

  19. BELLO AHMED ALKALI on

    A HARD WORKING GENTLEMAN SURROUNDED BY WOLVES. PITY ON YOU MR. PRESIDENT, PLEASE CONTINUE WITH THE GOOD WORKS GOD WILL CONTINUE TO GUIDE AND PROTECT YOU.

  20. That was too cheap of Orosanya and Otti to have behaved that way, besides they are educated enough to know that they can dissent the report by sending a Minority report through the chief of staff to the president but they chose to behave like charlatans.
    Mr Presido, you should try and cut the image of an Emperor, i doubt if they should have done before Obasanjo and it is said that if a man dosnt behave like a man, children will wash their hands on his head.

  21. Just a committee of few men formed to fish out the corruption in the oil sector yet they cannot agree on common report. t think i have some confidence in Ribadu, but…

  22. Task force committee member on petroleum chum nnpc board member for one man, it’s a shame for mr. Orosanya and his co business man. I worked with Ribadu for four good years, he can never be compromised. Orosanya, hmmm!! See your corrupt tendency.

  23. Kindly look into the report mr president. It appears stive
    and otti are out to embarrassed u and cast some doubts on the committees report. I felt the have been
    compromised.

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  25. If the President wants Nigerians to believe an atom of his rheotorics of fighting corruption, he must sack the Petroleum Minister immediately. The minister is cancerous, dubious and corrupt. She is using Oronsanye and Oti to discredit Ribadu’s hard work. Now, the ball is in the President’ court not to allow her to discredit him and being seen as a collaborator by implementing the Ribadu’s report in full and sacking Oronsaye and Oti from their new position immediately.

  26. Wim,u have said it all. That big eyes woman of a born woman n minister of fuel(petro). Dont u kno she is gej’s babe? Even y presentin d report she was nt confidnt,was shakin. Wat a shame. It was like carryin ha own death penalty in ha hand. I weep fr nig

  27. The Press has to go further to establish the whole truth about alleged marginalization of Messrs Oronsaye and Otti. I had expected members of the press in attendance to corner Messrs Oronsaye, Otti and Ribadu for more light on the way and manner the committee conducted its affairs. Questions like whether they signed attendance, how they notified members of meetings, etc. However, emphasis should be on the substance of the report.

  28. The major cause of youth’s problems nowadays is dt they ve no role models to learn from. Orosanye is a man i ve started learning from but i am ashamed of him bcos of d way he conducted himself on dis is b4 d whole world. He ought to ve acted better

  29. I wished all politicians know who is Ribadu and where we place him in this country? Pls. when he is doing what he knows best, just support him. When “gurus” accept to “donate” part of their wisdom to their people, those that are not well vested in that field should allow them to deliver without hindrance. When it is time for “political” solutions, the president will call them.

  30. osawe, paul uhunoma on

    The issue is simple.
    Mr. & my president should carry our a
    proper assessment of attendant to really ascertain the members contributions in cost of their meetings held.
    Hence, this goes to show members individual efforts & contributions toward the TRUE STATE of the report presented.

    WARNING: no one, i say no one should rain abuses words to my HEARTS – my mama economy professor ngozi iwela, the one Ogbu called Dieziane “That big eyes woman of a born woman n minister of fuel(petro)”- & the eyes is her beauty & which i m tripping for, Mrs due process- ekezueli & my man malam Ribadu.

    pls., i m not taking but do always pray for Nigeria, Nigerians & our president be-cos the truth will surely emerge whether the devil like it or not.
    thanks !

  31. It’s quite sad that illiterates with no sense can openly judge a man that they’ve never known. You Ribadu goons please shut the hell up. You know nothing. Because you picked up a newspaper for the first time you think you know something about Nigerian politics. If you read the news you would see that Ribadu is trying to steal money. How would you clearify the issues with the money after the report has been sent? Steve was just trying to save nigerians money. God save us from those who want to steal our money.

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