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SUBSIDY PROBE: REPS TO REVIEW NNPC’S OIL SWAP DEAL

The ad hoc committee set up by the House of Representatives to investigate payments for subsidy on petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol, under the regime led by the President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to go all out to uncover the alleged frauds in the process.

Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu; and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021, Ibrahim Al-Mustapha, made this known at a joint press conference in Abuja on Thursday night.

The House had on Wednesday resolved that the committee be set up to carry out the investigation and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.

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The probe was based on a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime in Nigeria from 2017 to 2021,’ which a member of the House, Sergius Ogun, moved at the plenary on Wednesday and the lawmakers unanimously adopted.

According to the lawmakers, the probe would be extended to the Direct Sale Direct Purchase and known as the oil swap deal between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (formerly Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) and importers of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) as well as verification of NNPC’s claim on the actual volume of petrol consumed in the country daily.

Al-Mustapha was asked if the committee was ready to withstand the pressure that would come from the cabal in charge of subsidy payments in the petroleum sector, including lobbying from political, religious and traditional rulers.

He responded, “We are here before you as members of the parliament, by the grace of God, out of millions of constituents. We are here to serve our dear nation. We are for Nigeria first. We are concerned about the plight of over 200 million Nigerians. And I believe the traditional leaders, our fathers, are also seriously concerned. Eminent personalities in the country are also disturbed about what is happening in the country.

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