Abuja - The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on
Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to investigate Federal Government expenditure
and subsidy on kerosene from 2010 to 2013.
It mandated the committee to ascertain the source of money used in financing
the subsidy, the budgetary approval, identify benefitting companies, and
establish the extent the products get to consumers.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Adeyinka Ajayi, which was
Leading the debate, Ajayi noted that Kerosene meant for sale to marketers at
N40.9 per litre hardly get to the consumers at the regulated price.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail
outlets were the only ones selling kerosene for N50 per litre, while
independent marketers sell at N130 and N135 per litre.
He recalled that the Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) had
said the country spent over N634 billion on kerosene subsidies between 2010,
2011 and 2012.
Ajayi said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, who appeared before
the Senate Committee on Appropriation had denied government payment on subsidy
on kerosene in the last two years.
He said there were conflicting claims by Okonjo-Iweala and the NNPC on the
source and amount of money used in subsidising kerosene.
“The Minister of Finance allegedly stated that the annual budgetary subsidy
provision did not include subsidy for kerosene, and therefore, not being
handled by Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA),”he said.
He maintained that investigation into kerosene subsidy would promote
transparency and accountability in the supply of the commodity to
Forte Dike said there had been inconsistency in the distribution of kerosene
in the country.
Dike said no Nigerian could conveniently say that he or she bought kerosene
at N50 per litre outside NNPC outlets.
Raphael Igbokwe said government had good intentions, while marketers
and some heads of government agencies had contrary intentions.
He said if the investigation was conducted a lot of revelations would be known
about the distribution of kerosene in the country.
Akintoye Albert identified diversion by marketers as one of the major
problems confronting the distribution of the product to consumers. -