Fuel marketers, NNPC, PPPRA, 86 others appear before Senate

Henry Umoru

13 February 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — The Nigerian Senate has summoned the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austin Oniwo; Executive Secretary, Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Reginald Stanley; Chairman, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba and Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu, to appear before it today.

They will appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Appropriation and Finance to explain how much was spent and who collected what from the N1.7 trillion oil subsidy. Chairman of the committee is Senator Magnus Abe, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers South-East.

An invitation signed by Senator Abe explained that the public hearing was “in continuation of investigations into the operations of the fuel subsidy scheme.”

Also summoned to appear before the committee for the two-day public hearing in Abuja are Prince Frederick Akinruntan, Chairman, Obat Oil and Petroleum; Dr. Oba Otudeko of Honey Well and Gas; Mobil Oil Nig Plc; African Petroleum Plc; Heyden Petroleum; and MRS Oil and Gas Plc.

Others included in the 88 oil companies involved are Rahamaniyya Oil and Gas; Sea Petroleum and Gas Co. Ltd; Ryden; Sahara Energy; Sifax Oil Gas Company Ltd and Total Nig. Plc.

Already, members of the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the management of subsidy regime have come under intense pressure from some beneficiaries who want favourable reports.

A member of the committee said on Sunday in Abuja that “beneficiaries of the subsidy had been bringing intense pressure on members to water down the report when it is finally presented to the entire House.”

The member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We are being told to name our price and they are ready to pay. It is unfortunate what corruption has turned the country into. Very obscene amount of money is being touted for the settlement. It is a shame.”

Sweetcrude gathered that some of the marketers have resorted to employing former members of the House of Representatives to lobby on their behalf before the Faruk Lawan-led committee.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Association of Mega Filling Stations Owners of Nigeria (AMSON), Mr. Wada Ashiga, told the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the management of the subsidy regime that NNPC retail unit was to blame for the scarcity of kerosene.

“Our 500 affiliate stations account for about 85 per cent of the total performance of the NNPC retail. But they engage in discriminatory supply of AGO and DPK to the 37 NNPC mega stations which account for only 15 per cent.”


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