Reps Summon Kachikwu, Others, Over N300bn Subsidy Payments

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By; IYOKPO J. EGBODO, Abuja

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Baru Maikanti and Executive Secreyary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Umar to appear before its joint committee on Petroleum Resources (downstream), and Finance, “to account for the monies expended on subsidy payment since January 2017 to date.

While there have been reports that the federal government has spent N300 billion on petrol subsidy for 2017 alone, the House has directed the committee to also ascertain the current petroleum pricing regime, as it further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to formally request for approval of budgetary provision for fuel subsidy, if need be.

A member of the House, Hon. Karimi Sunday while presenting a motion on under matters of urgent public importance  on Wednesday, said the government has confirmed that the landing cost of a litre of petrol is N171, while the pump price ceiling was pegged at N145. “At the moment, it is the NNPC that is paying the differential of N26 per litre, despite the fact that the federal executive has posited that it has removed petroleum subsidy, and there is no parliamentary appropriation for subsidy in 2017…”.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara had on the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, recalled the assurance of the Presidency that fuel subsidy has come to an end, adding however that “from recent developments on this subject, except the Executive adduces compelling reasons why the reverse is the case, we will be justified in feeling betrayed”.

Deputy Majority Whip, Pally Iriase, Ahmad Pategi, Chairman of the petroleum downstream committee, Akinlaja Joseph, Haassan Saleh, Aminu Shagari and Sergius Ogun supported the motion, say g there was need to investigate the matter.

Shagari noted however that the federal government may have found itself “in a precarious situation” after pegging the pump price at N145, while the landing cost has increased.

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