By G9ija

Worried that while oil producing countries globally are experiencing a boost in their revenue generation as a result of the increasing international prices of crude oil, Nigeria has continued to suffer decline in earnings, the Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties has again called for the sack of the management team of the newly-registered Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

It urged President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the team with prudent private sector players to save the economy.

The CNPP made its position known in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, on Monday.

The statement said: “It will be impossible for Nigeria to continue with the ongoing corrupt fuel subsidy regime that mainly serves the economic interest of the individual members of the NNPC management team and our mono-economy will survive in coming months.”

The umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in the country was reacting to the claims by NNPC Limited that Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, will cost consumers N462 per litre without the Federal Government subsidising it.

The statement by Ezugwu said in reaction: “It is worrisome that despite the huge assets available to NNPC, both as a public corporation and now so-called commercial company, Nigeria has never at any time felt positive impact of the company due to endemic corruption in the oil industry, especially the high level looting of the treasury through scams like fuel subsidy payments and consistent ineffective turn around maintenance of outdated Nigerian refineries.

“For instance, turn around maintenance of the four refineries in Nigeria has remained a perpetual conduit pipe deployed by virtually every management team of the NNPP under successive administrations to siphon the country’s commonwealth.

“Till date, despite several billions of dollars invested in the turn around maintenance of the Nigerian refineries, none of them has ever worked optimally.

“Rather than pursue the construction of new refineries, the NNPC management will conveniently opt for endless renovation of the old refineries for personal economic gains.

“The current management of NNPP Limited has continued on the same path of pursuing another turn around maintenance projects at Nigeria’s moribund refineries rather than building new ones with modern refining technology.

“The only visible reason for the insistence on revamping the old refineries is because it affords successive NNPC management team an unfettered access to the country’s national treasury for personal corrupt enrichment.

“The CNPP will continue to insist that if the newly registered NNPC Limited will meet its full targets and become a truly commercially viable company, the current leadership of the company must be replaced by industry players from the private sector.

“Nigeria cannot afford to continue in this journey to nowhere called turn around maintenance of the country’s refineries and the endless looting by NNPC officials in the name of fuel subsidy.

“Unfortunately, Nigeria is unarguably the only oil producing country today that is not benefiting from the current high prices of crude oil in the international market such that Nigeria’s NNPC has been operating at a loss due to increasing subsidy claims and oil-theft under the watch of the Kyari-led NNPC management team.

“Recently, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd), brought this national calamity to the fore when he categorically asserted that NNPC Limited cannot justify the volume of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) being consumed in the country daily to warrant the over N6.34 trillion subsidy payment on the commodity annually.

“He unequivocally said that the NNPC cannot scientifically prove 98 million litres per day consumption it is claiming.

“The customs boss was clear that the nation’s oil company was supplying an excess of 38 million litres of PMS daily by the NNPC’s own claims.

“The customs boss’ argument is in tandem with the CNPP’s age-long position that NNPC is run by successive corrupt management team and now the subsidy fraud has been elevated to a new level by the current management team led by Mallam Mele Kyari.

“No sane person does a thing in the same way and expect a different result.

“To underscore the level of looting in NNPC under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the guise of fuel subsidy as supervised by Mallam Kyari, inflating the daily domestic consumption of patrol has remained a norm in the NNPC.

“In the words of the Customs boss, Colonel Ali, ‘If we are consuming 60 million litres of PMS per day, by their own (NNPC’s) computation, why would you allow the release of 98 million litres per day? If you know this is our consumption, why would you allow that release? Scientifically, you cannot tell me that if I fill my tank today, tomorrow, I will fill the same tank with the same quantity of fuel. If I am operating a fuel station today and I go to Minna depot, lift petrol and take it to Kaduna, I may get to Kaduna in the evening and offload that fuel. There is no way I would have sold off that petrol immediately to warrant another load. So, how did you get to 60 million litre per day?’

“This has remained the question CNPP is asking.

“Recall that the current NNPC boss, Mallam Mele Kyari has been part of the old system in the NNPC and he has not proved that anything can be done differently since he assumed office because he has been part of the corrupt NNPC system since 1998.

“It is imperative to note that Mallam Kyari started his career with the Department of Geological Survey of Nigeria as Field Geologist before working as an Exploration Geophysicist with the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) in 1998.

“By 2007, Kyari headed the Production Sharing Contracts Management in Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) and by 2014, he became the General Manager, Crude Oil Stock Management while in 2015 he was promoted to the post of Group General Manager of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC.

“Nigerians can see why NNPC under Mallam Kyari’s leadership, whether as a government owned corporation or government owned commercial company, will remain a big minus in the oil sector so long he remains at the helm of affairs alongside his inefficient management team.”