Government and Politics

Senate Investigates N9.3 Trillion Spent on Petrol Subsidy in 30 Months

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Senate Investigates N9.3 Trillion Spent on Petrol Subsidy in 30 Months

The Nigerian Senate has launched an investigation into the controversies surrounding petrol subsidy payments. The focus is on the enormous amount of N9.3 trillion spent over a 30-month period. The 10th Senate has formed an ad hoc committee to carry out the probe. Mele Kyari, the CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), has been summoned to provide information about the government’s under-recoveries. The Senate has urged the NNPCL to collaborate with International Oil Companies (IOCs) to establish three refineries for market stability and economic growth.

Investigation into Expenditure:

The Senate initiated the investigation based on a motion by Senator Ndubueze Chinwuba. Between 2018 and 2019, N843.121 billion was spent on under-recoveries. Shockingly, between January 2021 and June 2023, N9.3 trillion was claimed to have been spent on petrol subsidy. These figures have raised concerns among Senators, leading to unanimous support for the investigation.

Call for Reform:

The Senate commended President Tinubu’s decision to remove fuel subsidy and expressed commitment to implementing palliatives. Once constituted, the Senate’s committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Petroleum (Upstream), and Finance will investigate subsidy payments and the under-recovery regime. A living wage for workers is also advocated to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal.

NNPCL’s Perspective:

NNPCL’s CEO, Mele Kyari, appreciated President Tinubu’s decision and stated that subsidy costs the government approximately N400 billion per month. The removal of subsidy and floating of the Naira has already improved Nigeria’s economic rating. NNPCL plans to go public, divest assets, and enhance gas availability.

Way Forward:

The Senate’s investigation aims to ensure transparency and accountability in petrol subsidy expenditure. Collaboration between the NNPCL and IOCs to establish three refineries will stabilize the oil market and strengthen the economy. The focus remains on good governance, economic growth, and the welfare of Nigerian citizens.

Source: The Nation

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