Senate to investigate alleged illegal petrol subsidy payments by NNPC

PRESIDENT of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, says the Senate will investigate the recent revelation that billions of Naira being dividends accruable to Nigeria from its shares in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), were illegally diverted and used to pay for subsidies for petroleum products.

Saraki made this known in a statement issued by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Monday, hours after the Premium Times published a report detailing how the federal government diverted the sum of $1.05 billion – about N378 billion at N360 to a dollar –to pay for petroleum subsidy despite claiming to have stopped such payments.

Earnings from the NLNG statutorily belongs to the federal, state, and local governments, but according to the report, the federal government unilaterally approved the spending from the NLNG funds without recourse to the other tiers of government or to the legislative arm of government.

Reacting to the recent development, Saraki recalled that a member of the Senate, Biodun Olujimi, had earlier raised concerns over alleged extra-budgetary spendings by the NNPC, and an ad-hoc committee had been set up to look into the allegations.

“Let me assure Nigerians that there will be no cover-up. We are confident the ad-hoc committee will do a thorough job. All the issues will be unearthed,” Saraki stated.

“That is why when the Senate set up investigative committees on issues, we want Nigerians to have confidence in us that we do not act because we want to embark on a wild goose chase. There must be some serious issues to be looked into.

“The revelations by the NNPC GMD have justified the need for this investigation and they have shown that we are acting in good faith.



    “When in my ruling on the motion raised by Senator Olujimi, I insisted that we want a transparent, honest and non-partisan investigation on the fuel subsidy issue, it was clear to me and my colleagues that there are certain irregularities being perpetrated and we should let Nigerians know the truth.

    “That is why we set up the committee in the first place and to demonstrate the seriousness we attach to the issue, we decided that the adhoc committee should be led by the Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan.

    “This investigation will require the GMD (of NNPC, Maikanti Baru) to produce the approval given by the National Assembly and other necessary approving bodies authorizing the NNPC to divert the dividend from the NLNG investment which ought to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund belonging to the three tiers of government for the payment of fuel subsidy.”

    The Senate is currently on a two-week break but the lawmakers are expected to resume plenary on Tuesday, November 6.

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