The Senate on Wednesday mandated its committee on Petroleum (Downstream) to exhaustively review and investigate the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over its accounts relating to fuel subsidy and the abuse of product marketing and distribution between 2006 and 2016.
The developments follow a motion by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West. Melaye noted with dismay that despite the crackdown on corruption by the present government led by President Muhamadu Buhari, there has been continuous violation by the NNPC as regards non-remittance of proceeds from the sale of refined products into the federation account. “This practice is similar to the problems that sparked the National outrage against last administration” Melaye said.
The Senator said records obtained from the PPMC show that 5 to 10 cargoes of imported crude arrives the country monthly, while about 5 cargoes are refined locally and each cargo contain 5.8 million liters of refined crude products.
He expresses concern that the excess products which cannot be dispensed goes into different tank farms owned by private individuals and they are not properly accounted for. “They are illegally sold off by the owners of these tank farms in a manner that is opaque and usually designed to rip off the public and enrich a few persons stupendously at the expense of the masses” he said.
The Senator said since this administration started clamping down on subsidy payment, NNPC has solely been responsible for retail with companies like BOVAS and RANO paying N20 to N25 per liter for the sales of these products which amounts to over N2 billion monthly. “These monies are not accounted for and that might be the reason why we now see petro-dollars buried in caskets and uncompleted buildings in remote villages in some parts of the country” Melaye added.
In his reaction, the Senate President Bukola Saraki said the motion concern the most important sector of the country economy. He urges the committee to do a thorough job and report back to the Senate as soonest.