The former EFCC boss,mallam Nuhu Ribadu has just been appointed as the chairman of the petroleum revenue special task force.some few members were also appointed so as to help Mallam Nuhu.Expectations are high now as Nigerians would want to see a very transparent,accountable and changed petroleum sector.Some of their Aims and Objectives are listed below.
*Working with consultants and experts to determine andverify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government;
*Taking all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing;
*Obtaning agreements and enforcing payment terms by all oil industry operators;
*Designing a cross debt matrix between all agencies and parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources;
*Developing an automated platform to enable effective tracking, monitoring, and online validation of income and debt drivers of all parastatals and agencies in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources;
*Working with world class consultants to integrate systems and technology across the production chain todetermine and monitor crude oil production and exports, ensuring at all times, the integrity of payments to the Federal Government of Nigeria; and
*Submit monthly reports for ministerial review and further action.
The President had on January1, 2012 announced the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry as part of measures to free governmentfunds for capital expenditure.
The government said deregulation which implied government’s granting of subsidies on petroleum products had resulted in a bigdrain on the federal purse as an estimated N1.3trillion was spent to subsidise petrol alone between January and November last year.
Government also said the subsidy regime had hampered efforts to attract investors into the industry, especially those keen on floating refineries. The government said investors were wary to put in their money in a climate where the prices of their end-products would not be determined by market forces, but by government regulated prices. Such a climate, the investors argued, would mar the ability to recoup investments on time and coulderode profit margins.
The government believes the best panacea to the woes in the industry was deregulation.But the policy announcement was stiffly resisted by Labourand civil right groups who protested the exhorbitant cost on goods and services following the hike in the price of petrol from N65 to N141 a litre.
Labour also argued that the government lacked the legal right to effect policy changes in the industry until the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was signed into law. They also insisted that those who mismanaged the operations and maintenance of the four state-owned refineries be brought to book because it was their inefficiency that had forced the country into becoming a net importer of petroleum products.
Had the country operated functional refineries, Labour said, the cost on petrol would not have shot up to N140 per litre, even in a deregulated regime......so Mr Nuhu Ribadu,the ball is in your court...