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Saraki "We are just paying lip service to corruption war," Senate President says

The Senate President accused the anti-graft agencies of finding pleasure in harassing government officials than investigating allegations of corruption in the oil sector.

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Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said that anti-graft agencies are literally paying lip services to the issue of fighting corruption.

Saraki made the statement after going through the report of the audit report of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), where there are several allegations of corruption to the tune of over N1trillion.

In a report by TheCable, the Senate President accused the anti-graft agencies of finding pleasure in harassing government officials than investigating allegations of corruption in the oil sector.

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Speaking when a delegation of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) led by Waziri Adio, its executive secretary, presented the organisation’s audit report to him, Saraki said, “I studied the report in the early hours of this morning, and honestly I was just dumbfounded about the figures that we are talking about.

Continuing, he said, 'This is just 2013, one year’s report. It is not cumulative. In one year’s audit report you are talking about figures of over $3.8billion at that time I am sure the rate was close to N150 per dollar. So you are talking about N650billion. Then you are talking about another N358billion which brings it close to about N1trillion.

'Then you are talking about assets that were undervalued and transferred to NPDC but still no payment was made. You are talking about NAPIMS paying cash calls for an asset that doesn’t belong anymore to NNPC and you truly wonder that this is going on right under our nose here in this country.

'What is the ICPC doing? What is the EFCC doing? This is what is killing this country. Honestly, I just concluded that as a country I don’t think we are serious. We are just paying lip service to this issue of fighting corruption because this is the real terminology of economic sabotage.

'This is what I believe agencies that are truly fighting corruption should have taken up. Meanwhile you see them sometimes chasing a local government chairman for N10million or chasing even the state governments for less amounts,' Saraki stressed.

Charging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to channel its energy into helping Nigeria recover allegedly misappropriated funds in the oil sector, Saraki said, 'These are just astronomical figures and nobody is being asked where the authority came from. Even if you say it was a minister, do we have where managements of those organisations have been able to say this is not what should be done?

'There are people who are responsible in management to advise on what should be done. And these people am sure are just walking the streets up and down without anybody asking them any question. It is incredible.

'Honestly, we must begin to do something about this because unless we do that we are just wasting our time. We are just chasing areas that maybe catch news headlines but they don’t have any effect,' he disclosed.

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