By Jaye Gaskia & David Ugolor
‘END IMPUNITY NOW’ is a nationwide campaign initiated in May 2012 as a network of civil society organisations in Nigeria alarmed by the dangerous scale corruption has assumed in the country and the impunity with which people in position of authority and responsibility harass our collective sensibility with their ill-gotten wealth. Of particular concern is the rot in the oil industry which is unarguably the proverbial chicken laying the golden revenue eggs for the Nation. The Campaign is committed to waging an effective war against and putting an end to this era of unabated corruption and flagrant impunity.
The area of national resources management system which basically involves budgeting and procurement services was identified as the main holes through which the nation’s resources are mercilessly looted. Budgets are neither properly planned nor effectively implemented. Implementation never exceeds 60% while the level of corruption averages 40 to 45% of annual federal budget which accounts for the unpreparedness of government to attend to unforeseen challenges like natural disasters (flood, erosion, etc) because of the mismanagement of the over 400 billion naira in ecological funds over the last decade.
The Campaign identified the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, its Ministers and all parastatals under the Ministry as being responsible for the monumental fraud in the oil industry. In its opinion, the lack of political will and courage to tackle the problem leaves room for speculations and the assumption that perhaps the government is both unwilling and incapable of fighting the menace. According to the Campaign, in the last 10 years and going by the recent Ribadu Committee Report, the country has lost approximately $29bn to price fixing and contract sums involving oil and gas firms. In addition, the government is being owed billions of dollars in royalty arrears by oil companies. One can imagine how far the country would have gone in providing basic amenities, infrastructure and services, in employment generation and in poverty eradication had all these stolen billion been committed to these areas.
In view of these maladies, the Campaign demanded that Government should take these steps, among others: sacking, investigation and prosecution of indicted officials, agencies and operators in the oil industry; immediate determination of the actual Daily Consumption Rate (DCR) as well as the combined Daily Production Rate (DPR) for PMS in the country; the resignation and subsequent prosecution of the Minister of Petroleum Resources for her ignoble roles in the whole oil industry corruption saga! Should these demands remain unmet and should there be no convincing sign of fighting corruption, the Campaign said it would be compelled to call for nationwide mass actions towards the end of November, 2012.
The EIN statement hereby urges all movements, people’s organisations, civil society groups and all concerned citizens to join the campaign.
Being extract from the text of a World Press Conference jointly addressed by Rev. David Ugolor of Africa Network for Environmental and Economic Justice and Jaye Gaskia, National Convener, United Action for democracy and Spokesperson of the ‘End Impunity Now’ Campaign.
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