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Minister, Others Shun Reps Public Hearing On $20bn Kerosene Subsidy

African Examiner

The scheduled investigation into the kerosene subsidy planned by the House of Representatives was aborted following the absence of key public officers linked with the corrupt scandal.

Those who shunned the investigative public hearing include Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu and the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke

The House had through a resolution mandated the Dakuku Peterside- headed Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) to investigate issues surrounding kerosene supply, distribution and subsidy payments from the year 2010 to 2013.

Worried by the development, the chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside rescheduled the public hearing to 18th of February 2014.

The Committee had in its letters to the trio, called for submission of “all relevant detailed information as it relates to approvals on kerosene subsidy, source of money for payment of the subsidy, budgetary approvals, kerosine import details, PFI allocation and product distribution chart, PPPRA authorization and validations, auditors approval and reports, relevant shipping documents and all other documents that will assist the committee in discharging its responsibility.”

While responding, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, via a letter dated 7th February 2014 which was delivered to Dakuku’s office few minutes before the commencement of the public hearing, urged the Committee to reschedule the hearing.

The letter read “I wish to inform you that the Honourale Minister together with the top management of the Ministry and its agencies will be participating in the International Summit on Power Financing starting today, 10th February, 2014.

“As a result we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation. We are also currently engaged with the Senate Committee on Finance and it is not clear when their hearing will end.”

In the same vein, Mr M.B Bamanga NNPC General Manager (National Assembly Liaison), in a letter dated 7th February 2014 appealed to the Chairman to “allow NNPC and its subsidiary sufficient time to collate the required documents and reschedule an alternate date for the appearance of our organization at the hearing.”

The PPMC’s letter dated 7th February and signed by Engr. G.O Komolafe, also followed the same format with the same excuse and request for additional time to collate documents.

While ruling, Dakuku who noted that the committee was being forced by circumstances to postpone the investigative public hearing, assured that the committee will not disappoint Nigerians.

He said “It is not in the character of the seventh National Assembly to waste people’s time. On behalf of the committee, I want to apologise to you, we are going to be compelled by circumstances to put off this hearing to the February 18.

“We owe you a duty to carry out the investigation, we will not let you down, we want to apologise once more, we will move on with the hearing February 18.”


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