Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday directed the Senate committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to urgently conclude investigations into the $1.1 billion dollars proceeds allegedly paid to Malabu Oil Company from the sale of the oil block OPL 245 on March 25, 2011.
This followed a point of order raised by Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC) who observed that investigations into the Malabu oil scam were still inconclusive after it was committed to a committee for necessary action since July, 2013.
He said that investigations by some European countries to unravel the role of their citizens in the alleged matter were nearing completion while Nigeria’s parliament was yet to act on it, adding that it would not augur well for the image of the Senate if it did not conclude an investigation it resolved to conduct for the purpose of accountability.
“It would interest this senate that an international extractive industry advocacy group did a letter on July 5th, 2013 to the Italian and Netherlands government requesting for public investigation. The public investigation is to ascertain the role of companies from those countries in the Malabu matter as part of public accountability.
“I fear the situation where, the European Parliaments are reporting issues that affect our own economy and our own apex parliament is not doing what supposed to be done. As I speak to you, the Italian and Netherlands governments and parliaments are about completing their public investigation and that would be made public very soon. As senators, it is a privilege that we should know what is going so that the reputation of this parliament as an institution is not called to question,” Adetunmbi stated.
The senator also urged the legislative house to act urgently in addressing the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, arguing that the delay in the consideration of the law was responsible for the large scale abuses and illegalities being witnessed in the nation’s oil sector.
He said that Nigerians were worried that the oil sector could not be properly regulated for the benefit of the country without putting in place an effective legislation.
“The PIB after debate in this chamber was committed to the appropriate committee on Thursday, March 7, 2013. It would be one year next month and up till now, there seems to be nothing going on. Nigerians are worried that the non passage of that bill is responsible for many of the terrible things that are happening in the oil sector,” he said.
The Senate President sustained the point of order and ruled that the relevant committees should take quick action on the issues raised.
The Senate also resolved to debate motion on the need to probe the illegal subsidy on kerosene being paid the NNPC on Thursday.