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Govt Vows to Arrest Refinery Contractors

Posted by By Emmanuel Aziken on 2004/11/26 | Views: 2527 |

Govt Vows to Arrest Refinery Contractors


The Federal Government has threatened to arrest contractors involved in the failed rehabilitation of the nation's refineries just as it challenged organized labour to enter into the business of importation of petroleum products.

The Federal Government has threatened to arrest contractors involved in the failed rehabilitation of the nation's refineries just as it challenged organized labour to enter into the business of importation of petroleum products.

The Special Assistant to the President on National Orientation and Public Enlightenment, Erelu Bose Ogunmuyiwa at a press briefing in Abuja, also assured the citizenry that importation of fuel products into the country would not go on forever.

Speaking against the backdrop of tension arising from the aborted threat by labour to commence an indefinite strike action on account of the recent increase in the prices of fuel products, Ogunmuyiwa assured that the Federal Government was unwavering in its commitment to providing succour for the common masses.

While commending labour for calling off the strike, the presidential aide disclosed that the recent reduction in the prices of petroleum products was not in any way a result of the strike threat made by labour.

Affirming the commitment of government to recover money paid to contractors who failed in the rehabilitation of the nation's refineries, Ogunmuyiwa said: "You can be sure that there is no contractor who has been given money for the execution of projects who has the money and won't refund all of them. All of them without exception will refund the money," the presidential aide said as she reiterated the President's determination to enthrone accountability in government.

She said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had a standing order on the matter as she expressed confidence in the ability of the agency to bring justice to bear on the issue.

In asserting government's determination to bring succour to the plight of the people, she said the ultimate solution would be made through the refining of crude meant for domestic use within the country.

"The importation of fuel into Nigeria is not going to be forever, it is not the ultimate solution. The ultimate solution is to get Nigerians who have enough money to set up refineries."

"Government is determined to pursue the interest of the common people and to create an enabling environment for the interest of the common man."Government does not ordinarily need the body we know as the NLC to threaten to go on a nationwide strike before certain things are done. We know the difficulties that our people are experiencing. Those in government are Nigerians and gone are the days when the people in government do not know what is happening," she said as she cited the government's policy of monetisation as equally biting hard on senior government officials.

Affirming that the era of free money was over, she said: "There is no free meal for anybody in government."

The presidential aide also rebuffed insinuations that the recent reduction in the price of petroleum products were forced on government by the threat from labour. She said: "It is not as if Labour moved government, labour just pre-empted government action. Labour should also register and import fuel so that it can sell fuel to the people," the presidential aide said.

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