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Democracy Group, United Action for Democracy release statement: Prosecute Fuel Sector Fraudsters

National Convener of the United Action For Democracy, Jaye Gaskia
The UAD commends the House Committee for having the boldness to carry out a thorough investigation; we align ourselves with the recommendations which they have made especially as it borders on refunds by persons and business entities that benefitted fraudulently from subsidy payments. However, we demand that those indicted by the report be prosecuted. The Fuel Subsidy probe report vindicates the position of the United Action for Democracy when we declared late last year and early this year that the whole issue was a massive scam, that it was the ruling class and their corruption that was being subsidized and not the Nigeria people. This position led us to mobilize the mass of Nigerians and to stage a series of protest activities across major cities in the country.

The UAD notes also the recent announcement of the termination the job of the Auditors whose duty it was to monitor the financial transactions that transpired in the management of fuel subsidy. However, a mere sack of the auditing firm without prosecution does not indicate government’s commitment to fighting corruption and ensuring that those who stole trillions of naira from the Nigerian people are brought to book.

Similarly, we have noted that incompetent and unqualified business outfits with connection to the Nigerian ruling class (some existing only in briefcases) benefitted fraudulently from fuel subsidy payments. While we demand their prosecution in accordance with the law, we equally demand that those who granted them permits to import fuel into Nigeria, be prosecuted as they are part of the corruption cartel. Worthy of mention is the fact that a company qualified only as a garbage disposal business, could land a permit to import fuel.

While we expect that the recommendations of the Report will be fully implemented, the UAD however perceives a pattern similar to the probe of the power sector which revealed massive corruption without any actions being taken. UAD thus calls for the prosecution of all individuals and corporate bodies found to have been the beneficiaries of the supposed ‘subsidy’. Further, we call we call for the immediate resignation or sacking of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala: Minister of Finance, Diezani Allison- Madueke: Minister of Petroleum, and Labaran Maku: the Minister of Information for their demonstrated culpability by acts of omission or commission in the fuel subsidy, the anti people hike in the price of petrol and the conscious promotion of lies to cover up the truth.

The UAD views the President Goodluck Jonathan scrapping of the hastily conceived SURE programme as yet another demonstration of the bad faith and utter disdain of the Nigerian people by the government in particular and the ruling political elite in general. Considering the facts that monies accrued from January with the increase of N32 per litre over the amount appropriated in the 2011 budget that will not lapse until March 31st 2012; with the revelations of mismanagement of ‘subsidy’ funds; Nigerians cannot but be suspicious of how the funds generated from January are being spent. UAD thus calls for full disclosure on the matter to the Nigerian people.

Based on the above, the United Action for Democracy calls for;

• THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE AND FULL PUBLICATION OF THE REPORTS OF THE POWER SECTOR, FUEL SUBSIDY, PETROLEUM SECTOR AND PENSION PROBES;

• IMMEDIATE AND FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FUEL SUBSIDY, POWER SECTOR AND PENSIONS PROBE REPORTS; PROSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THOSE IMPLICATED AND INDICTED. EXEMPLARY PUNISHMENT TO GUILTY COMPANIES;

• IMMEDIATE STEPS TAKEN TO DETERMINE ACTUAL DAILY CONSUMPTION RATE FOR PETROL; ACTUAL DAILY PRODUCTION CAPACITY FOR PETROL BY DOMESTIC REFINERIES; AND THEREFORE ACTUAL DAILY IMPORT REQUIREMENT FOR PETROL. WITHOUT DETERMINING THESE, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE FRAUD;

• AND DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A 24 MONTH STRATEGIC INTERVENTION PLAN TO ACHIEVE SELF SUFFICIENCY IN DOMESTIC REFINING CAPACITY FOR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS.

The United Action for Democracy is resolved to initiate another series of mass actions aimed at compelling the government to do the right thing. We are bold to state that our country cannot keep groping in the dark while a few with access to the coffers of the state steal it blind.

Ken Henshaw Jaye Gaskia
General Secretary National Convener

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