- The group managing director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, and his team are being interrogated by the Nigerian Senate
- The public hearing is hosted by the Senate committee on petroleum over the subsidy payment of N5 trillion by the NNPC
- The NNPC boss and his team justified the payments, claiming they were duly approved
The Nigerian Senate is currently questioning the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru and his team.
The public hearing is hosted by the Senate committee on petroleum over the N5 trillion subsidy payment by the NNPC between 2006-2016.
Justifying the payments, the NNPC Chief Financial Officer, Isiaka Abdulrazak, stated that subsidy is a duly authorized reimbursable amount from Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) to compensate for products supplied at government regulated price.
He continued: “All NNPC's subsidy claims and entitlements are duly verified and approved by PPPRA with relevant certificates issued. The subsidy approved for NNPC is backed out of Domestic Crude Cost payable to Federation Account Allocation Committee.
“In summary, NNPC submits that the amount of N5.1tr was duly approved by PPPRA as subsidy claims for the corporation. Out of this sum, NNPC is still being owed N170.6billion.
“Consequently, NNPC seeks the understanding of the distinguished members of the committee on the peculiarity of its operations and its role as a supplier of last resort in the downstream sector of the economy."
Earlier in the day, Senate president Bukola Saraki stated that the Nigerian Senate is determined to get to the bottom of the subsidy controversy.
Delivering his opening speech at the event, Saraki said the Senate will expose every corruption in the system irrespective of how highly placed those involved are, adding that the subsidy controversy must be addressed.
He charged the committee to get to the bottom of the issue and proffer long lasting solutions “to this racketeering in the fuel market that leaves the Nigerian people poorer every year.”
Other questions he tasked the committee to seek answers to are;
1. What is the actual quantity of fuel the Nigerian market consumes?
2. What are the underlining reasons why the market is struggling to operate without government intervention, in other words why the reoccurring scarcity?
3. Third and equally crucial is the process and all those involved in signing out unbudgeted funds outside the budget passed by the National Assembly.
He added: “Let me implore the committee to ensure that they carryout a comprehensive investigation of these issues and advise the Senate on appropriate steps to take to make sure that never again are we going to be back here discussing these issues anymore and Nigerians will no longer be queuing to buy fuel at the pump stations ever again.
“I am glad that everyone in this room has an interest in stamping out fuel scarcity from our market; we are united to stamping out fraud and corruption in the industry."
The Senate president then declared the event open after his remarks.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Thursday, January 25, accused the NNPC of short-changing the country in revenue remittances to the federation account.
Chairman of the NGF and Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, made the accusation after presenting the forum’s grievances to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yari was accompanied by Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) to visit the president on behalf of the National Economic Council (NEC).
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