That NNPC Wahala


Though before the assumption of President Muhammadu Buhari two months ago, there had been pockets of complaints, rumours and allegations within and around the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
These ranged from inaccurate figures of the actual quantity of crude oil produced and supplied to conflicting figures of the cost of the product and to the actual tax remitted to the federal government by the corporation.
The simple implication and answer to all these prevarications is that something is either wrong in NNPC or that something is equally wrong with the company. Implying that all is not well after all.
Ironically, record has it that within the past five years, the NNPC has had five Managing Directors, and some of those did not last up to one year on the seat. The implication of this action in such a sensitive organisation is that there is instability in such a firm which is the goose that lays the golden egg for the collective survival of Nigeria as a nation.
Supporting this simple fact therefore means that NNPC as it is should not be toyed with or should we play politics with the organisation. It has therefore become imperative that the National Assembly should enact a serious law that would make the oil and gas sector in the country function properly and of course, distance the operations and running of the firm from politics.
Though there had existed this cloudy environment around the oil and gas sector for some time now, we must congratulate President Buhari for beaming his searchlight on NNPC since assumption of office. And of course, this could have been because of his experience in the sector while he once served as the chairman of the Petroleum Trust and Development Fund (PTDF).
Be that as it may, it is worrisome that Nigeria as a nation solely relies on oil for its survival. And to make matters worse, the past administrations did not think of either diversifying or developing other resources that abound in the country like oil palm, cocoa, cotton, cassava, iron ore, granite and many others.
Unfortunately because Nigeria depends on oil and NNPC to feed daily, that is why it is in its present quagmire financially.
Both the states and federal governments are currently complaining of financial crunch when the country cannot successfully run a refinery. Think about this, what happened to our excess crude account? Yes, because of the Nigerian attitude and mentality, the governors of the states coerced the past administration into sharing the excess crude account among themselves.
Ordinarily, this is a fund that is and should have been reserved for the rainy day as a bailout fund.
Our take in all that has and are still happening in the country is that Nigerians must change their perception and mentality especially as it affects public interest. We are in a democratic dispensation but everything should not be politicised.
Crying and looking right, left and centre by the respective arms of government for financial bailout amounts to shedding crocodile tears. Granted that a forty year old bachelor should be advised and even encouraged to borrow for marriage or to marry.
The present financial predicament of Nigeria should not only be hinged at the doorstep of the NNPC for allegedly short-changing the country over the years. Our general mentality towards the over-dependence on oil should be reviewed with the National Assembly, giving it an authority by urgently enacting a serious law in the oil and gas sector.
Whether NNPC is maintaining one hundred bank accounts and things like that should not be our worry for now. We should again look inwards and in other viable sectors if we really wish to stabilise the Nigerian economy.