PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration is close to ending the sharp practices in the oil and gas sector. The perpetrators will be named, he said.
He also spoke of his ongoing search for “decent”, “patriotic” and “selfless” politicians and technocrats who will be ministers. The President has promised to name his ministers in September.
Buhari, who spoke on his vision for a greater Nigeria on “Good Morning Nigeria”, a Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Abuja, pragramme, said oil was still being illegally exported by July 3.
He said the Federal Government was working assiduously to expose those behind the reported under-dealings in the oil sector, promising to update members of the public on the government’s investigation into the matter.
According to him, the government’s aim is to identify and prosecute all those found culpable. Shipping documents are being compiled for onward submission to countries of destination of stolen crude oil from Nigeria.
His words: “The search continues; up to the third of this month (July 3), our crude was still being illegally lifted by people who are in government. We are trying to get these documents. We are getting the cooperation of the international community.
“We are going to make sure that those who perpetrated this theft against Nigeria are faced with facts very soon and are taken to our courts.
“We’ve got the cooperation of some of the countries of the destinations of our crude (oil) and we are discussing with them.
“We have to maintain high confidentiality so that we don’t risk some of the loyal Nigerians that are helping us to trace the destinations of this stolen crude and then the accounts into which the monies are being paid instead of the Federal Governments account.”
Buhari said his administration was studying the recommendations on how the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should be reorganised.
He described his recent trip to the United States (U.S.) as very successful as he was able to extract the commitment of President Barack Obama to assist and support the country in tackling its economic and security challenges.
He said the U.S. and European countries had also pledged to assist Nigeria by putting in place a security mechanism in the Gulf of Guinea to check oil theft.
Responding to a question on the quality of his Federal Executive Council (FEC), the President politicians and technocrats would make the list of nominees for ministerial appointments.
He said: “From what I have seen so far, we need really patriotic Nigerians – Nigerians that can work very hard, knowledgeable, experienced, committed Nigerians – to be in charge of ministries.
“A lot of the institutions of Nigeria – important institutions – were compromised. Everybody was for himself and God for all of us; it’s most unfortunate.
“We have the people, educated people, experienced people but everybody seemed to be working for himself – how much he could get as much and as quickly as possible.
“We have to look for technocrats and we have to look for politicians and certainly we have to look for decent people in this class to give them the responsibility of being in charge of ministries and important parastatals (agencies).”
On the leadership tussle in the National Assembly, Buhari urged those behind the dispute to search their conscience and abide by the party’s decisions.
He urged Nigerians to cooperate with his administration to develop the country and warned that no part of Nigeria would be allowed to operate on its own.
The President added that Nigeria “must remain one”.