Nigeria’s lawmakers allege pressure over subsidy probe

30 January 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – Nigeria’s House of Representatives said at the weekend that it would not bow to pressure or blackmail on the ongoing probe of the management of the nation’s fuel subsidy policy.

It was responding to a newspaper advertorial by a group, which referred to itself as the G57 Transparency Group.

The advertorial entitled: “The ad hoc committee on Petroleum Subsidy: Enough of this legislative circus,” described the ad hoc committee set up by the House to probe the fuel subsidy scheme as “legislative circus,” urging that the House reather tackled issues such as security and the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Anti-Terrorism Bill, than engaging in a probe of fuel subsidy.

But, the House, in a statement, Sunday, by its Media and Public Affairs Committee Chairman, Zakari Mohammed, said efforts to discredit the ad hoc committee, headed by Hon. Farouk Lawan would not deter the committee from carrying out its assignment.

Mohammed said the committee “will remain focused, in spite of the glaring attacks on their persons and the institution they represent.”

According to Mohammed, the publications was diversionary and lacking in focus and by those “desperate to initiate moves aimed at aborting the findings of the committee.”

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the recent publications in some print media, credited to one G57 Transparency Group attacking and discrediting the ad-hoc committee on petroleum subsidy and by extension the House of Representatives.

“The Seventh Assembly since inception has touched on those issues that affect Nigerians wherever they might be, hence our resolution to list up our legislative agenda that is targeted at those issues and factors that have impeded our development as a nation over time.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we want to place on record that the issues being raised by the publication are diversionary and lacks focus. It would seem that following the stream of stunning revelations at the committee’s public hearing, several individuals who have profited and (continue to benefit) from the distortions in the management of Nigeria’s oil resources have not only become jittery, but are now desperate to initiate moves aimed at aborting the findings of the committee.

“We state that no such group as G57 Transparency Group exist in the Seventh Assembly of the House of Representatives. Furthermore, the Seventh Assembly of the House of Representatives is a unique family of 360 legislators bounded by project Nigeria, devoid of party, religious, ethnic and sectional affiliations. This is evident by the pan-Nigerian stance that we have taken since our inauguration.”

Mohammed said the House would ensure that the findings and recommendations of the Fraouk Lawan-headed committee would be made public.

“We would compel the relevant authorities to implement without delay, the findings and recommendations of the committee,” he added.

About the Author