The House of RepresentativesA�on WednesdayA�resolved to invite the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to explain the payment of N300 billion subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, without approval from the National Assembly.
The House also asked the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Abdulkadir Umar, to appear before its Committees on Finance and Petroleum Resources.
Adopting a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by Hon.A�SundayA�Karimi (Kogi), the members urged the Federal Government to make provision for subsidy payment in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, if it is interested in continuing with the policy.
Karimi pointed out that between January and December, the Federal Government through the NNPC claimed to have spent over N300 billion on the payment of subsidy for petrol.
He described the payment made without the approval of the legislature as a breach of Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which provides that no money should be withdrawn from the Federation Account except as prescribed by the National Assembly.
a�?In December 2017, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, have both admitted that the current landing cost of petrol is N171 per litre despite the fact that the Federal Government has pegged official rate at N145 per litre.
a�?At the moment, it is the NNPC that is paying for the cost or deferential of N26 per litre despite the fact that government has posited that it has removed petroleum subsidy in the 2017 Appropriation Act.
a�?NNPC conceded that fuel subsidy has returned because between January and March 2017, the corporation recorded an `under recoverya�� of N46.86 billion and this trend continued at an increasing rate all through 2017,a�? he said.
Hon Ahman Pategi faulted NNPC for paying subsidy to tune of 300 billion in 2017 without recourse to the parliament.
The Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Pally Iriase, called for the full deregulation of the downstream sector to curb the corruption currently associated with it.
However, the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Hon. Joseph Akinlaja, said that the N300 billion paid to marketers are arrears of subsidy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN quoted Hon. Johnson Agbonayima as saying that only the resuscitation of the countrya��s refineries can address the crisis in the petroleum industry.