The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has dismissed allegations that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, was investigating the agency over some alleged infractions.
The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Reginald Stanley, described the allegation as farce, malicious and a smear campaign.
The executive secretary, who spoke to reporters in Abuja on Sunday on the activities of the PPPRA, dismissed the allegations as cheap blackmail by fifth columnists, working to undermine the transparency regime in the PPPRA.
“PPPRA hereby unequivocally states that the news making the rounds is a figment of the imagination of the people peddling it. The agency is not under any investigation whatsoever by the ICPC or any anti-corruption agency for that matter.”
The agency insisted that the allegations are completely false and a violation of the code of ethics of journalism, which enjoins journalists to refrain from publishing inaccurate and misleading information.
“Nigerians are aware that the Federal Government through the Minister of Petroleum Resources has put measures in place that consistently prevented corruption in the downstream in recent years.
“This has enabled government to save a whopping N409 billion in subsidy claims in 2012 alone from reduction in volume from 60.25 million litres a day in 2011 to 39.66 million litres a day in 2012.
“We achieved up to 67 per cent reduction in the number of participants in the subsidy scheme, ensuring that only owners of downstream facilities participated in the scheme. This resulted to a reduction from 128 marketers in 2011 to 38 marketers in 2012.
“We also took steps to boost the Local Content Initiative of government by encouraging indigenous participation in downstream activities and this has attracted investments to the Nigerian economy in excess of N60 billion in the past 18 months.
“Our resolve to support the Minister of Petroleum Resources to make the difference has naturally attracted odium, hatred and campaigns of calumny in some quarters, giving rise to headless chickens like Ledisi Dagogo-Jack, who exists only on pages of newspapers.
“Allegations that PPPRA management is under investigation is completely false and we hereby re-assure the public that no amount of intimidation or smear campaign can make us to derail in our resolve to serve our fatherland with integrity and honesty of purpose.
“We challenge whoever goes by the name, `Ledisi Dagogo-Jack’, to show his face and substantiate his mindless claims and misleading information.
“The entire allegation is bunkum, crafted merely to destroy reputations but we shall remain focused in our goal to make the difference in sanitising the downstream.
Stanley said that the PPPRA had often been unduly attacked by blackmailers, mischief makers and disgruntled elements, wanting to take their pound of flesh on the management of the agency for refusing to toe the wrong line in executing its mandate.
“The PPPRA under its current leadership remains a responsible organisation, committed to enthroning transparency, accountability and international best practices in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“The discerning public is hereby enjoined to continue to support the agency in its efforts at enthroning a transparent, accountable and effective supply and distribution system in the downstream,’’ Stanley stated.