Saturday, 7 January 2012

That ‘Tam David-West’ Smetamorphosis: ’Pedestrian, puerile, ignorant, disinformation

Saturday January 07, 2012

•Prof. Tam David West
Photo: Sun News Publishing
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Let me begin by ‘congratulating’ Tony Egbulefu for his attempt at being a Jonathan government apologist on the ‘subsidy’ question, which he himself rightly described as “subsidy conundrum” in his pro-‘subsidy’ article “Fuel Subsidy debate and the metamorphosis of David-West” (Compass, December 8, 2011, page 8). The article even carried his pix smiling for a job well done. Well done? No! Rubbish.

However, if he had taken some more time to do better and painstaking research, especially being a self-vaunted “Abuja-based policy analyst,” he would have saved himself the monstrous embarrassment of manifest ignorance and inaccuracies on the one hand and the palpable disinformation on the other hand, which I intend to highlight under the above caption of this rebuttal.

I apologise for the longish caption. But each of the selected words has its own particular import to my theme or discourse. On a rather light note my caption could be said to be ‘pygmy’ when compared to the ‘giant’ 40-word caption of the controversy-laden Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Tony Egbulefu, “Abuja-based policy analyst,” joined what looks to all the world as the team of government-sponsored “pro-‘subsidy’ removal” hatchet writers who in the past few months have surfaced in different guises and with varying doses of disinformation to the public: Paid multi-page colour adverts e.g. “Fuel Subsidy Frequently Asked Questions” by a said “Campaign Against Waste (CAW)” The Nation On Sunday, October 16, 2011 and The Guardian Sunday, October 23, 2011 “No (2)” (I missed the earlier No.1).
The very elaborate 6-page colour advert, “Let’s Change The Equation Remove Oil Subsidy…” This Day, October 21, 2011 Front Page Sensation! by a said “Mass Interest Project (MIP).”

Altruistic? Voluntary? No. Never. A page of colour advert costs between N300 and N400 (sometimes even more). Even a child can see through the cheap veil of government sponsorship. And these programmed propaganda adverts ran for some weeks. Who picked up the colossal bills? Santa Claus government.
In addition to the above there were many pro-‘subsidy’ articles with varying display of sophistry and spins. Some of them were broad-sides against me, an obdurate, implacable unapologetic “ANTI-‘SUBSIDY’.”
Of all of them, Egbulefu’s contribution was easily the cheapest, the most bereft of substance, the most careless (ad hominem and libelous) the most jejune, the most replete with inaccuracies and disinformation. The most flagrant display, nay parade of crass ignorance. It was also the most widely circulated. All of these will be addressed later on in this rebuttal. Certainly, not edifying for a vaunted “Abuja-based policy analyst.”

His “Tam David-West’s metamorphosis” (The Nation, December 6, 2011); “Fuel Subsidy debate and the metamorphosis of David-West” (This Day, December 9, 2011) “Fuel Subsidy debate and the metamorphosis of Tam David-West” (Compass, December 8, 2011 page 8) are all replete with all the above listed negatives.
He was apparently so pleased with himself for a splendid job of being Pro-government and “Pro-‘subsidy’ removal” his “metamorphosis” ‘thesis’ was widely circulated in the media both print (some half a dozen) and electronic (internet). I seem to wonder how much was paid for this job. Shoddy job as will be seen later.
It is therefore, my humble expectation and respectful appeal that similar gesture of robust generosity be extended also to me. “Balancing the equation” so to say. Equity. All for a balanced public good.
Before I take up the specifics, I must state categorically and with some measure of satisfaction and refreshing vindication that NONE of the “Pro-writers” have faulted me on the CRUCIAL FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE that THERE IS NO FUEL SUBSIDY. NONE. NEVER EXISTED.

The number of hatchet writers and commentators assembled against me is redolent of the situation of Albert Einstein and his ground-breaking “Relativity Theory.” The anti-Einstein even published a book, “100 Authors Against Einstein.” Einstein’s reaction? “If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!” Not “100”! (In: “A Brief History Of Time” by Stephen Hawking).

And so similarly on my well-considered position, which is buttressed with facts and figures and cogent argument that any talk of “Fuel Subsidy” is FRAUDULENT. LIE. CORRUPTION. DECEITFUL. NEVER EXISTED. All what is needed to humble me, disgrace me, expose me to public opprobrium is for the Jonathan government, especially his “de facto prime minister” (Wikipedia), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to accept my challenge for an Open-Space Public Debate on ‘SUBSIDY’ simpliciter. This is the ONLY way the public interest would be served.
No amount of government-sponsored adverts, articles, campaigns, lobby, threats, blackmail, bribing or “settlement,” economic Armageddon, doom prophecy on the Economy can change the fact of the NON EXISTENCE of fuel subsidy.

If 99 people out of 100 (99%) claim that the sun rises from the West and sets in the East; and only one person holds the opposite position, it does not ever mean that the 99 are right and the lonely one is in error.
In their frustration to muster effective counters against me, they resort to totally irrelevant and sterile diversionary red herring that being a Virologist, I may not fully understand the subsidy controversy.
My reaction? Arrant nonsense. I was oil minister. It was the annus mirabilis for the nation’s oil business. The records are there!

Besides, their Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, is B.Sc, Architecture, Howard University Washington DC. I am MSc (Yale) PhD (McGill) in Virology. The most celebrated oil minister in the world, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia oil minister for some 25 years, is a lawyer. Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso, the famous oil minister of Venezuela, who initiated the formation of OPEC, is a doctor, MD Johns Hopkins.
Virologist, yes. So why not accept my challenge to a public debate on your so-called ‘subsidy’ and disgrace me. Why lily-livered. Why chicken-hearted.
It is outrageous for government to misappropriate huge public funds (multi-millions) to sponsor and ‘merchandise’ lies and disinformation about their phantom fuel ‘subsidy’ through their hired hatchet writers. It is corruption, plain and simple. “Corruption is the use of public powers in order to achieve private goals” (Christopher Clapham). The “private goal” here is ego trip, the massaging of one’s sense of self. Jonathan, especially Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, his obtrusive ‘guardian angel.’

“Proponents of the removal of petroleum ‘subsidy’ are aflush with millions of Naira, as indicated in the flood of advertorials in the media.” In “Again, the petroleum ‘subsidy’ bogey” by Ojo Olorunleke, News Star, October 19, 2011. Back page.
Let me now debunk seriatim Tony Egbulefu, the great “Abuja-based policy-analyst. The government apologist.
I do this not because I am worried about his piece. Not even a bit. Truth is like cork, unsinkable.
However, first, I want to set the distorted records and disinformation straight for now and for posterity. Secondly, I wish to put him on notice (a fascinating legal phrase) on where he carelessly overstretched himself with actionable distortion about my integrity, which is pivotal to my very life. Because one’s good name is so much more superior to all the silver, gold and diamond in the whole world. Thirdly, among the eight President Abraham Lincoln’s “LINCOLN PRINCIPLES” are the following:
• One, “It is not entirely safe to allow a misrepresentation to go uncorrected.”
• Two, “Remember that truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”
• Three, “If you yield to even one false charge, you may open yourself up to other unjust attacks.” In, “Lincoln On Leadership” by Donald T. Phillips.

Finally, I wish to state quite honestly that I am not allergic to criticisms or counters to my strongly held positions. I am not, like any mortal, perfect or omniscient. These defining qualities are the exclusive preserve of the Almighty. But I detest intellectual laziness, which I am inexorably contemptuous of. I also, similarly, despise physical indolence. Hence my mantra as a social critic: Demolish me with facts. If you bring fiction I will demolish you.
On Egbulefu’s “metamorphosis,” I am completely at a loss to see where or how I ever metamorphosed. I’m not being simply pedantic. I am dead serious.
As a professional Research Scientist (Virologist) and as once a student of Biology I do know that “Metamorphosis,” is the biological progressive transformation of animal body from one post-embryonic form to another, usually from larva to adult. The word is derived from two Greek words: “meta” or “after” and “morphe” or “form.”
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines it as “A process in which somebody or something changes completely into something different.”

I have been very consistent over the years (over five decades) as a social critic. Furthermore, I have only one personality. Constant. Not split. No persona. No façade. Transparently and reliably one me. I therefore, challenge Egbulefu or any other so disposed to confront me with any somersaults on my part. Any. I have always called a spade by its very name “spade” no matter who is involved. Constructively. And by His grace I am blessed with the freedom from fear and solid confidence in His Divine direction. Hence, I am often being vindicated.
My book, “My Controversies My Vindications” will soon be out by His grace.
Some 100. From Daily Paid Labour to Gowon’s Overthrow, to New Federal Capital, to Admission of Communist China to the UN, to the Fall of Apartheid, to America’s Middle East Misadventure, to One-Term Vice-Chancellors. Most of them some 5 or 10 even 20 years after my ‘Controversy.’ To Him be the glory.
For one of my latest ‘controversies.’ I wrote repeatedly that if President Musa Yar’Adua dies in office, Nigeria would have a profound crisis of leadership. Again, vindicated. The rest is now history.
The case of Dan Etete, Abacha’s Petroleum Resources Minister, is paradigmatic of my so-called controversies and their corresponding vindications. He is Ijaw (Bayelsa), like myself, and also similarly Jonathan (Bayelsa). He was easily the most carefree oil minister. From two pet lions at his Port Harcourt marble mansion at Woi Street GRA being fed two goats each day by NNPC, to $500,000.00 (Half Million Dollars) per day Estacada to the United States, to oil block (OMS 56) etc etc etc. My essay “The Imperial Minister” (This Day, January 23, 1997 page 6) and (City People, February 5, 1997 page 2) gave details of Etete’s prodigality and profligacy.
I rounded up on Etete: “Etete Will Leave Office in Disgrace – David-West” (The Diet, May 12-18, 1997. Front Page; Page 12-14).
One, “IG orders ex-minister Etete’s arrest” (This Day, February 20, 2003). Case referred to Interpol.
Two, “Dan Etete Police Inspector General declares former minister wanted” (The Comet, February 20, 2003. Front Page Lead). This was full 12 years after my so-called ‘controversy.’
Three, “ETETE CONVICTED French Appeal Court upholds ex-Petroleum Minister’s sentence. Fines him N2.5billion for money laundering,” Daily Sun, March 19, 2009. Front Page Lead.
I have never been a time-server. No amount of money – even all in our mint – can buy my conscience or derogate my principles. Impossibility!

But I am not unaware of some hatchet writers who I tag “Penny Per Column” or some “Scavenger Writers” who flock to government for sponsored or “Nairatised” articles. Indeed, like vultures flock around dead bodies. Such people are disservice to society and to the honourable profession of writing.
Egbulefu, quite rightly stated, “Facts are sacred.” But he repeatedly spun facts on their heads. Maybe he merely parroted the maxim without really understanding it, especially its profound moral implication.
For instance, it is totally false that General Buhari “luckily didn’t encounter the monster of petroleum products subsidy because he inherited three relatively new and functional refineries.” This is not good enough, in fact shameful, for a great “policy analyst.” During Buhari’s time there was iron-cast discipline. No corruption. No sabotage of refineries. No fuel importation. Not even one litre. We even exported. No problems at all with Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of our refineries. Like vehicle owners who service their vehicles regularly.
It is also an embarrassing falsehood that as Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) Buhari believed in “fuel subsidy removal.” The great vaunted “policy analyst” is completely wet and crassly ignorant about the philosophy or rationale for the formation of the PTF as an “interventionist body” set up in 1994 by Abacha to use the quantum of price of fuel increase in visible positives for the economy. Plentitude of concrete records. Unlike the daydreaming and castles in the air, vacuous unreliable promises of Jonathan and Okonjo-Iweala. All these sweet nothings have been said before by corrupt governments. Déjà vu!

“Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, an extraordinary Nigerian, matched only by few in integrity and readiness to subject himself to the demands of public office…By all standards the PTF has been a success, able to reverse public cynicism in a very short time….” Testimony by General Abdusalami Abubakar, GCFR in his Forward to “Buhari: the PTF Years” (1990).
Like me, General Buhari has never supported the so-called ‘fuel subsidy removal:’ “Fuel subsidy is corruption…It is a big scam….There is no such thing in the country today…We must fix our refineries and refine our petroleum products locally.” Buhari. Daily Sun, October 20, 2011. Front Page/Page 5. “Fuel Subsidy Jonathan misquoted me – Buhari” Saturday Mirror, November 12, 2011.
“There is no fuel subsidy in Nigeria, says David-West”…“The concept of petroleum subsidy is fraudulent.” David-West. National Mirror, June 26, 2011. “Fuel Subsidy, a big fraud.” “Ex-petroleum minister opens up.” Saturday Sun, October 15, 2011. Front Page Lead.

Egbulefu, also lied that I said refineries “would become obsolete and money guzzling after 30 years of existence.” I never ever said so. What I said, and that repeatedly over the years, was that the experts inform me that new refineries could go on for some 20-30 years without major problems. Even vehicles well-maintained can go on for 20 years. For instance, I used my Peugeot for 22 years before I sold it to my driver’s brother. It is still on the street.
It is also shameful fabrication for Egbulefu, the great “Abuja-based policy analyst” to ever say that I am against private refineries. I seem to wonder if he really understood what he read or has been reading especially as a vaunted “policy analyst.”

What I said was that to build a refinery is so very cost intensive that no Nigerian businessman can single-handedly build one. He must need serious-minded foreign partners.
Inact, I was Chairman of the “VISION 2010” DOWNSTREAM Sub-Committee. Our report is there for any serious-minded policy-analyst to read.
On my said public lecture on ‘subsidy’ “delivered at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)…on Thursday November, 24.” (2011). This total inaccuracy, indeed monstrous lie, completely destroyed Egbulefu’s big claim, nay parade, as a “policy analyst.”
Now, I am for the very first time in my addressing the ill-conceived and misdirected piece quite infuriated by this so-called “Abuja-based policy analyst,” Tony Egbulefu, for making me take time off from my very heavy time schedule to rebut his nonsense.

He has shown or demonstrated beyond any reasonable reservation that he is both intellectually lazy and also physically indolent. It is all self-advertisement for patronage. He does not also even respect the dictum he recited that “Facts are sacred.” He fabricates with ease swank and utter abandon.
First, I never ever delivered any lecture at the “Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries” and on “Thursday November 24.” It’s all infuriating shameless tissue of lies. I don’t even know where the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries is situated.

My invitation Lecture on “OIL ‘SUBSIDY:’ FACTS, FICTION AND FRAUD” was at the “Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos.” And it was on “Wednesday 23rd November, 2011.”
Clearly, it is people like Egbulefu who constitute albatross to President Jonathan. But as Machiavelli said in “The Prince,” to be wisely advised the Prince should also be wise.
I have zero tolerance for people who parade intellectualism and knowledgibility with all sorts of self-serving “Non-Government Organisations” (NGO) or outfits. For instance, hear “policy analyst” Egbulefu, again: “But here we are in a democracy that has power to make even a leopard change its spots.” Arrant nonsense. Unqualified rubbish.
First, are we in a “Democracy?” No. Not even “Quasi-Democracy,” Finter. Secondly, our ‘Federalism’ is also a fraudulent parody. Thirdly, and more disgusting, no democracy, even that of classical Athens of Pericles can “make even a leopard to change its spots.”

“Democracy” is not the magician’s abracadabra invocation. Silly. Cheap. Puerile.
I urge the great “Policy analyst” to read Ben Nwabueze’s “How President Obasanjo Subverted The Rule of Law And Democracy” (2007). 415 pages. Flows in reading. It will make him to be much more serious-minded.
Still another “Egbulefian lie.” Babangida did not appoint me “Minister of Petroleum and Energy.” It was “Minister of Petroleum Resources.” Quite different. A serious “policy analyst” should be able to know this.
Yet, another one of the “Egbulefian lies” and embarrassing carelessness and physical indolence for a “policy analyst” who is expected to (and indeed mandatorily imperative) do serious research before talking or writing. I am not in “serious academics;” and I am not “saddled” with teaching. I retired from the university since 1991.
And more and more lies, the Egbulefuian. My relationship with military government did not come to a “screeching halt, when Babangida, in his own wisdom found him wanting on an alleged issue on infraction and best practices.”
First, there was never any suddenness or “screeching halt.” Between September 1986 when I left the government to the Babangida – Aminu inspired Special Military Tribunal in September 1990 when I appeared before the Tribunal was four years and eight months interval (almost 5 years) post – government.
Two, I was discharged and acquitted by the Special Appeal Tribunal, Chairman, The Honourable Justice Dahunsi Coker (Supreme Court retd) on 08 August, 1991:
“No iota of evidence on the charge of corruption.”
My victory and my triumph were hailed nationally and internationally. “David-West: A Victory for Justice” Editorial The Guardian, August 21, 1991.
“Tam’s Testimonial” by Ray Ekpu, Newswatch, August 26, 1991. My Birthday.
Why testimonial? The Special Appeal Tribunal showered encomiums on me and to all intents and purpose decorated me with tasty accolades and sprayed me with colourful sweet confetti.
“We observe and note the evidence that the accused as Minister and Chairman of NNPC performed his duties conscientiously and courageously. He is no doubt a person of very high intellect, hard working and conscientious…..”

Egbulefu, should read my First Anniversary of Bama Prison publication (Advert): “TO THE GLORY OF THE ALMIGHTY THE INJUSTICE OF NOVEMBER 16, 1990 STINNES: TISSUE OF OFFICIAL LIES. THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRIUMPH OVER INJUSTICE AND PERFIDY” The Guardian On Sunday August 7, 1994. Four well documented pages. He should also read my advert to celebrate “THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CELEBRATED ‘$57M’ CUP OF TEA/WRIST WATCH SAGA (From Limousine To Black Maria)” The Guardian On Sunday, November 16, 2000. Four pages well documented.
Furthermore, my book (copiously documented) “STINNES (THE ‘$57M’ – CUP OF TEA-WRIST WATCH SAGA) 212 pages had been ready for some time. Ready to go!
To demonstrate my empathy and sympathy for the inmates of terrible Bama Prisons I left behind, I visited the prison on 29 August, 1992 and donated cartons of different drugs to the inmates.
“Letter of Appreciation” by Officer Mohammed Musa Hinna dated 14 October, 1992. Ref. No.BMP/13/Vol. 1/44 refers.
As hinted earlier, Tony Egbulefu is “put on notice.” I don’t suffer fools gladly. Perhaps, I should also use this fitting occasion to also alert the following “on notice” for their own carelessness about my person or on issue very dear to me: E. K. Clark, Asari Dokubo, Rev. Ojo, Afegbua, Babangida, Aminu, Omoruyi, Saro Agbe, one ‘King’ Ogborosi of Bayelsa, Onuegbu, Ortsejafor. Indeed, in keeping with Abraham Lincoln: Never leave uncorrected any misrepresentation about you, especially printed permanent ones.
Egbulefu called me a “collaborator in military dictatorships.” He asked me to publish the “score-card” of my “performance as petroleum minister.”
Let me state right away that I have no apologies whatsoever serving the country either as Education Commissioner, Rivers State (1975-79) under General Zamani Lekwot or as Minister of Petroleum and Energy (1984-85) under General Buhari. In fact I remain very proud of these landmark years in my life. And I have all the good reasons to be so disposed.

I should make the following points, especially for people like “policy-analyst” Egbulefu: One, I never lobbied or jumped (as many I know) to these refreshing national recognitions. At the state level, General Lekwot, said he was prepared to wait for my “Yes” even up to the “eleventh second of the eleventh hour.” He is still very much alive. At the Federal level, Brigadier B. A. Idiagbon, Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, pleaded, “I am persuaded to believe that you would accept this request as a call to national duty, and I expect that you would gladly accept an invitation to serve.” His letter of 06 January, 1984. Ref: SHQ/COS/T.1 refers. I was greatly humbled by both Lekwot and Idiagbon. Independently. About a decade apart.
Two, it was my singular good fortune that at both State and Federal levels I worked under (cabinet) leaders with impeccable integrity, iron-cast discipline. Zero tolerance for corruption. Patriotic. Focused. Reliable. Leadership by examples.

It is incontestable that after Buhari and Lekwot the difference in these sterling virtues has remained rare. Very rare. I make bold to unequivocally say that after Lekwot (State level) and Buhari (Federal level) all their successors in office were moral invalids. From my records, the lonely exception at the federal level was General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar.

“Service to our nation brought Tam and I together and the (moral) values we shared in the course of that service have held us together” – General Buhari at the launching of my book “The Sixteen ‘Sins’ of General Muhammadu Buhari.” Port Harcourt 29 July, 2010. Three, I served for service id est the love of the fatherland, Nigeria. Not corrupt. Avoided compromisable situations: Not a single share in any oil company. Turned down building or car offers.
Four, My “ACCOUNTABILITY QUOTIENT” remained very positive. I developed this concept “Service to country divided by service to self” while in the Babangida-Aminu incarceration in terrible Bama Prison on 30 July, 1991. It was later published after my victory and triumph in the Weekend Telegraph April 23-29, 2005 page 8.
Five, a Governmental Regime is not bad simply because it is military. And contrariwise, good just because it is civilian. It all depends on the style and moral content of the regime; and flowing from its leadership.
Thus, the common quip: “The best military government is worse than the worst civilian government” is all arrant nonsense. Porous intellectualism.
My “Of Democracy in Military Governance.” This Day, November 28, 1996 page 6 refers. The great Allison Ayida’s polished, elegant, decorous rebuttal to Obasanjo: “Memo from AYIDA to OBASANJO,” Sunday Times, April 10, 1990 page 8 is also apropos of the “Democracy in Military Governance.”
Furthermore, General Olusegun Obasanjo, argued that military government is not an aberration. In his: “Africa Embattled” (1988) page 60.

Six, A Bullet Coup is not worse than a Ballot-Box Coup. In fact, the latter is even worse because of its hypocritical claims to correctness. I’ve argued before that election riggers are worse than armed robbers. Therefore capital punishment is also appropriate. Armed robber targets an individual. Election riggers target the nation.
As for my “score-card” I am constrained to provide the following very, very truncated list. I do this not out of immodesty. No. But for people like our great “policy-analyst,” Egbulefu, to be better educated since they hear they hear not; and see and see not. Too busy being apologist to non-performing, ill-focused failed governments. Let me be graphic:
One, there was no fuel importation via cartel or cabal of middlemen strangulation of the economy. No fraudulent preachments or sermons of “Removal of Fuel Subsidy.”
Two, we made IMF ostensible “Big brother” deceit totally irrelevant by our “Pre-Payment Strategy” of aggressive oil marketing. “Extraordinary attempt by Professor Tam David-West” to boost foreign receipts. Financial Times of London, August 1, 1984. NO IMF. World Bank collaborators or comprados.
Three, OPEC was founded on 15 September, 1960. Nigeria joined on 14 July, 1971. Nigeria pulled out a feat in July 1984: OPEC singled out Nigeria for special crude oil production increase. This feat. This record has not been equaled even to date – 51 years of OPEC history. We made extra (not “excess”) – some $2billion. Even if this special increase in our oil production lasted for only two months (as some interpreted) August/September Nigeria will make extra $210million in foreign exchange (London Financial Times, August 1, 1984 page 4).
“David-West’s Extraordinary Triumph,” The Guardian, July 12, 1984. Front Page Lead.
The Right Honourable Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe congratulates: “From an old timer and a great admirer of yours…. Congratulations on your achievement as one of the best most efficient Ministers produced by our Beloved Nation – Nigeria. Zik,” July 1984.
Four, I conceived and initiated the formation of the “African Petroleum Consultative Council,” which was later called “African Petroleum Producers Association” (APPA) in 1985. My telex (a CLARION CALL) OF 16 November, 1985 refers. I travelled round the continent.
The Guardian Editorial “African Petroleum Council” of July 27, 1986 Page 10 commended.
Thus, just like Venezuela’s Dr. Juan Pablo Alfonso MD (Johns Hopkins) conceived and initiated the formation of OPEC after also inspiring Saudi’s Dr. Abdullah Tariki, Chemistry and Geology, (University of Texas) so also I, a Nigerian Virologist, conceived and initiated the formation of the African Petroleum Consultative Council (or APPA at a later date). The body, a shining contribution of Nigeria to African States economic health is still alive.
Five, General Buhari approved our “Revitalisation” of the deep-frigged New Port Harcourt Refinery (The 4th Nigerian Refinery). We increased the capacity from 100,000 barrels of crude per day to 150,000 barrels per day. Rated one of the best on the continent.
Contractor: JGC (Japan) and Spibat (France). Cost: $521,716. No kickbacks. Abomination under General Buhari. Chief Michael Ibru (Chairman, Spibat) and his supportive wife, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, can attest to this. I signed the contract.
Six, we stamped out bunkering and oil smuggling. Over 1,000 illegal oil bunkerers. There was only 18 official legal bunkerers. We saved some $3million each day from bunkering.
“The FMG’s clamp-down on smuggling has made for export an extra 100,000 barrels a day, worth even at the new prices some $1bn a year” Newsletter Nigeria A Frank Cass Publication, November 3, 1984.
Post Buhari illegal bunkering became the order of the day in government and out of government.
Seven, we revitalised (Dead like dodo before Buhari) and put on keel the LNG project. Changed the old philosophy of operation. Appointed, Chief Gamaliel Onosode, a management guru, Chairman. Captured the first global market for the Nigerian LNG.
•Professor David-West writes from Ibadan, Oyo State


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