Diezani Confesses: I Stepped On Big Toes, But I Never Commited Any Crime

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Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum
resources, says she has not committed any
crime and is not seeking asylum, even though
she stepped on big toes during her tenure.
Fielding questions from the media in Abuja on
Wednesday, Alison-Madueke — probably the
most criticised minister under President
Goodluck Jonathan — said her recent meeting
with Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of
state, had nothing to do with speculations that
she was looking for “soft landing” from the in-
coming administration.

She said: “I have not sought such assistance
because I am not aware that I have been
indicted of any crime that I will need a soft
landing. Over the last four years, I have been
severally and unfortunately accused and
labelled in so many malicious and vindictive
ways. I have explained these things and pushed
back robustly on these accusations and I have
even gone to court on many of them. Yet they
keep being regurgitated.

“I think it is unfortunate, particularly when we
are moving into a transition period and looking
forward to an incoming government which is
coming to take over where we have ended. For
everything that has a beginning there is an end
and that is not a surprise. What is the surprise
is the sort of malevolence bothering on
personal malicious libel to my person during
this period of time.

“I do believe that I have done the best for
Nigeria in this job and I have attained many
firsts in the history of oil and gas especially in
the reforms that we have done. In this period of
time, I have stepped on many big toes,
particularly the toes of the cabals that were in
the industry when we came in.

“I have said severally that we will open up the
industry to all Nigerians, and we have, but that
is not to the pleasure of certain cabals. And I
have been continuously maligned because of
this. We have taken millions and in fact billions
of dollars out of the hands of multinationals and
their subcontractors and put them in the hands
of Nigerians through the Nigerian Content.
Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have come
into the oil and gas industry because of our

“Quite frankly, I think as unprecedented as it is,
it does not please everybody and that cannot be
helped but let us remember the unprecedented
reforms that have happened in the oil industry
during our time, such as major gas reforms, the
Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been
completely revised, reformed and put into the
hands of members of the National Assembly
where it has languished for two years.”
She also spoke on the alleged missing funds
from the coffers of the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as
allegations of wasteful spending by her.
According to her, some of the allegations were
made because of the reforms contained in the

She said: “In that bill are all the reforms needed
to tear NNPC apart, make it a National Oil
company, an equity share company through
transparency, accountability and responsibility
and reduce corruption in the industry. We did all
theses and we put them in place to reduce
corruption, so for me to be tagged with various
tags of corruption, $10 million jet purchases,
who buys jet for $10 million dollars for
goodness sake?

“And $20 billion missing money for which PWC
had done a report and the $1.48 billion which is
not missing, which is actually money
transferred by the NNPC to NPDC which is a
subsidiary and NPDC has actually started
making payments under my directives. I have
said during our time that there are gaps in the
NNPC and I said that openly.

“But I can also say that at no time in Nigerian
history in the oil and gas has the NNPC been as
open and audited as it is today. It has been
positioned to go forward in the industry. It is
true that the revenue profile is not sustainable.
But we have done our best and the Nigerian oil
and gas sector is today in a better shape than it
has ever been in terms of achievements that we
have recorded.

“So let me state it clearly for the records that
Nigeria is my country and I am not going
anywhere. I love my country and I do think that
I have done the best for my country and I would
also like to point these malicious, malevolence,
vindictive libels need to stop.

“We have done enough for this industry, we
cannot please everybody. Yes, we have stepped
on toes but we did that in the best interest of
Nigeria and we have opened up the oil and gas
industry to all Nigerians, thousands of
Nigerians have benefitted from our reforms in
the system.”

Alison-Madueke, who rose to the position of
director in Shell Nigeria, was appointed minister
of transportation (now divided into works,
transport and aviation) by late President Umaru
Musa Yar’Adua in 2007.

She was later moved to the ministry of solid
minerals, before Jonathan appointed her
minister of petroleum ministry.

Along with late Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, who
served as minister of health from 1985 to 1993,
Alison-Madueke is the longest serving minister
in Nigeria’s history.


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