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Reps Open Probe of “Fraudulent” Malabu Oil Deal

Ayodele Afolabi

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Tuesday Inaugurated the Ad-hoc Committee saddled with the probe of alleged corruption, malpractices and the breach of due process in the award of Oil Prospecting Lincense 245 called Malabu oil.

The Speaker stated this on the occasion of a two-day public hearing organized by the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the Malabu Oil deal.

Dogara said that it was instructive to note that OPL 245 has a long running history and has been subject of many investigations, hence the need to put a finality to the matter. The failure by previous administrations to take necessary steps to resolve the disputes associated with OPL 245, has attracted the searchlight of international anti-corruption and money laundering watchdogs which has portrayed Nigeria as unserious in its fight against corruption.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this Public Hearing on the Investigation of Alleged Corruption, Malpractices, and Breach of Due Process in the Award of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 (HR. 24/2016) pursuant to the Resolution of the House on the subject.

“The Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 is a potentially lucrative oil block encompassing a massive area of 1,958 square kilometers with two deep water fields estimated to hold about 9.2 billion barrels of crude oil which award is shrouded in controversy, scandals, corruption, and breach of due process that resulted to monumental revenue loss to the country.

” In the face of dwindling revenue of the country, there is the need for the country to intensify efforts to access funds for the finance of its developmental and infrastructural projects.

” It is instructive to note that OPL 245 has a long running history and has been subject of many investigations, hence the need to put a finality to the matter. The failure by previous administrations to take necessary steps to resolve the disputes associated with OPL 245, has attracted the searchlight of international anti-corruption and money laundering watchdogs which has portrayed Nigeria as unserious in its fight against corruption.

” This Committee should be guided by the work of its predecessors. Indeed, the 7th House of Representatives made far reaching resolutions on this subject which was not implemented by the Executive. We expect that the anti- corruption stance of the current government of Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, will lead to a better outcome if the Committee makes similar findings.

“It should be noted that Public Hearing of this nature is all about information gathering from stakeholders to enable it make informed decisions especially to plug loopholes in existing laws, on any subject. We therefore urge you to be open and forthright in making necessary contributions that will help us properly advice the executive on the subject matter under investigation. ”

 

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