The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says that the Federal Government's directive that the Central Bank of Nigeria should henceforth handle crude oil sales proceeds from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is illegal.
President Bola Tinubu reportedly directed the CBN on Monday to take over this responsibility, and now, the NNPC is supposed to tender receipts for crude oil sales to the CBN for confirmation and documentation.
Atiku, in a statement on Thursday, said Tinubu’s directive messes with the independence of the national oil company. He noted that the details of the decision were not well explained to the public, and said, “Whatever might be good about the new arrangement, the presidential directive breaks the NNPCL's legal status, and can mess with the NNPCL's independence.”
“By this order, Mr. President has wrested control of the finances of the NNPCL and donated the same to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria".
Atiku maintained that hhis is an unprecedented act, without any legal or ethical basis, and a violation of the principle of due process in public administration. He added that State-owned enterprises are not subject to such arbitrary orders and have full control over their finances within the confines of their respective establishment laws.
“The government must, therefore, respect the provisions of the law and allow the NNPCL to run as an independent company based on sound commercial objectives, and in line with international best practices and standard principles of corporate governance.
“Only then would the new NNPCL grow into a formidable institution with track records, requisite technical and financial capacity, and readiness to operate in public space”, he said.