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In the light of alleged corruption charges against the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, a senior Minister in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari, has on Thursday, October 27, released a report stating that the corruption indices under the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC, are mostly overblown out of proportion.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, stated this in Abuja, at a news briefing, shortly after the launch of the new road-map tagged: “The 7 Big Wins”.
Recall, that the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani, was accused of stealing over $20 billion, among other crimes, under the watch of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
She has however, denied the numerous allegations leveled against her, insisting that they are all attempts aimed at tarnishing her image, and nothing more.
“If there is one issue I must pursue in this world, it is the biggest lie of this money. How can $20 billion disappear just like that?
“Where did it disappear to? Is it possible that such an amount would not be traceable?” Diezani had said, during an interview with Dele Momodu.
Commenting, Kachikwu said: “I think sometimes, the corruption indices in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, are overblown, because sometimes people do not understand the technicalities of what is going on, and the short answer is corruption.


“I do agree that there were all kinds of sleaze stories in the past, but if you look at the last one year, and in the last 13 months, those have dramatically disappeared.
“The TSA definitely helped, being able to suck in all our funds in one pond, being able to look at long term focus.
“The fact that we have saved over a billion dollars, through the Direct Sale Direct Purchase programme, it is something. Otherwise, it would have gone into private pockets.
“There are good people in the NNPC,” he said.
Kachikwu further stated, that in spite of doom stories that abound in the country, the Petroleum Industry was one sector that he had said, “there is hope, we can find solutions; we can solve problems.
“The only thing that we must hold high, is commitment and collegiality in trying to fix things. I believe if the Petroleum Ministry works, the rest of the country will work”.
On the issue of refineries, he said, that the fact that they were working today, was because there were local Engineers who were able to resuscitate them.
“The feeling of the Federal Executive Council and the President, is that we should first get the refineries to be efficient, before we talk about privatization, otherwise, we will be selling scraps.
“In their present state, nobody is going to offer you serious money. A huge amount of investment is going into this.
“Secondly, there are Union issues; we do not just take decisions, not recognizing that people work there.
“If you privatise in a hurry, and are sucked into Union issues, that closes the place, and it does not function for years,” he said.

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