The Minister of
Mrs. Alison-Madueke said this during the ongoing
Confidential memos exclusively published by PREMIUM TIMES showed that NNPC's claims that it spent over 80 per cent of a controversial
The memos also showed that the purported subsidy on kerosene was against an extant presidential directive to remove subsidy on kerosene from the
The memo to the President, No. SH/PSP/24/A/812, had, among several prayers, requested the petroleum minister be directed to "eliminate existing subsidy on the consumption of kerosene, taking into account that subsidy payments by government on kerosene do not reach the intended beneficiaries."
The memo also directed the minister to avoid public announcement of the new directive.
But in spite of the presidential directive, the NNPC, apparently feigning ignorance, still submitted a request for the payment of subsidy on kerosene.
However, in memo: SH/PSP/24/A/1087 dated
It was not clear if the corporation received the subsidy after the demise of the former president.
Under the scheme, the
The committee had noted that the scheme was not only implemented in defiance of a subsisting presidential directive removing kerosene from the subsidy regime, but also designed in a way the product would not get to the beneficiaries at the approved price.
It further noted that throughout the period, kerosene, which was supposed to be distributed to consumers nationwide at the subsidized rate, sold only at the 36 NNPC mega stations out of over 24,000 retail outlets across the country.
Even then, it said the product was never available to consumers at the subsidised price and as a result of massive diversion; it was resold to consumers at between N160 and N200 per litre in the open market.
But while fielding questions during the investigative hearing, the petroleum minister insisted that the NNPC flouted the presidential directive on kerosene subsidy to save Nigerians the hardship of buying at exorbitant rates.
Mr. Alison-Madueke also insisted that if there must be a forensic audit of the PPPRA documents, it should be stretched to 2004, when the entire process started.
However, when asked why she disregarded the extant presidential directive on subsidy, she said, "I was not in office at that time, but even then, a presidential directive is not law and is not gazetted."
Her response generated murmurs among members of the investigative panel and other participants.
The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who blew the whistle on the missing funds, had told the committee that the NNPC's lied that 80 percent of the
He also insisted that the outstanding
"It is, therefore, left for the committee to determine whether such letter was later withdrawn."
Mr. Makarfi said it is not proper for the CBN governor to delve into the responsibility of other agencies of government.
Also speaking at the hearing, the Minister of Finance,
She, however, said the finance ministry had no capacity to validate the claims, stressing that there was need for an independent forensic team to examine the documents.
On the missing
Asked why her ministry had not carried out forensic audit of NNPC documents if it is dissatisfied with its operations, Mrs Okonjo-Iwela said such audits could only be carried based the due process.
"Nothing stops us from carrying out the audit. This thing is a process," she admitted.
Again, when asked whether there is need for a forensic validation when the PPPRA is vested with the responsibility of signing off subsidy payments, she replied, "These are extraordinary times; otherwise we would not be sitting here. These are not ordinary times."
On his part, the NNPC's Group Managing Director,
The NNPC boss insisted that the money had been spent on subsidy, pipeline maintenance and other losses.
"The impression Nigerians have is that
"Nigerians believe NNPC is sitting on money. But I want it known that these monies we are taking about are not realizable flows,"
A mild drama, however, ensued when a member of the
As soon as Mr. Galadu made the remark, the finance minister took the floor and rebuked the lawmaker, saying that
She insisted that
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