Home FEATURES Senator Saraki Brands Nigerian Petroleum Corporation As Engine Room Of Corruption

Senator Saraki Brands Nigerian Petroleum Corporation As Engine Room Of Corruption

Saraki Senator

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has branded the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the engine room of corruption in the country even as he asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to thoroughly investigate the activities of the Corporation.

Speaking when the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by its president, Ayuba Wabba visited him in Abuja today, Saraki said: “NNPC is where people who are the real engine room of corruption are.

‎”While the senate has interacted with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), it also intends to engage the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look at the areas where the national assembly can assist to ensure that the fight against corruption is efficiently prosecuted.”

“We, in the eighth senate, have said there will be zero tolerance for the issue of corruption. Corruption is one issue slowing down development and some of the problems we are embarking on – whether you talk about our refineries not working, you talk of the issue of fuel subsidy, you talk about the high cost of governance, everything you talked about comes back to this issue of corruption and I think it is time for all of us, those of us in the national assembly, the executive and the workers, to show serious commitment.

“This should not be a headline-grabbing approach because at the end of the day, you are workers, when you talk about oil theft, we have Nigerian workers at the terminals who surely must know when this thing is going on. Everywhere that there is corruption, some workers are there either participating or observing. We now have a great opportunity to win the war against corruption because we have a leadership led by President Muhammadu Buhari that we believe has the political will to do the right thing.

“We are assuring you that at the executive side, we have elected the president that will do it well. I am making the commitment on behalf of the national assembly and myself that we are committed to fighting corruption. If you remember, I was the one that single-handedly in 2011 opened the lid on the fuel subsidy scam that everybody is talking about now.

“But at the end of the day, who are those people working in these places? They are Nigerian workers. They are not workers from anywhere else. So, I think I will also throw the challenge, now that we are getting the message that the political leadership is ready to take on this thing called corruption, I think we need the cooperation of our workers who know it all. They see it happen and when you look at the anti-corruption agencies, with all due respect, you will find out that 80 per cent of some of the cases are cases at the state level.

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“You hardly see where people who are the real engine room which is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or where most of these corruption cases on oil are being put on trial.”

Saraki talked about the internal crisis in the Senate and the leadership crisis in NLC, saying: “You talked about the internal challenges that the NLC leadership is facing. I think I want to say the challenges are similar to ours. People contested elections, some will win and of course, some will lose; but at the end of the day, we all win when we all leave our personal interest and look at the interest of Nigeria.

“I want to assure you and Nigerians that we in the senate are ready to work for you. We are committed to the work we are elected to do. I think there are more of the noise outside the senate than in the senate. We are committed and we want our actions and our words to speak for us.”

“We recall that as a chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, your intervention helped to resolve the protracted teachers’ strike over their negotiated 27.5% teaching allowance. Similarly, not long ago, we had cause to condemn the ‘passing of 47 bills in 10 minutes’, by the seventh senate on the twilight of its lifespan.

“We note that though you were a member of the seventh senate, you were one of the few who felt honour-bound to publicly distance yourself from that regrettable incident.

“Therein lies the source of our hope that the 8th senate under your watch will be less opaque, less secretive, and will witness more transparency, more responsiveness to the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people.” [myad]

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