23 August 2012, Sweetcrude, PORT HARCOURT— CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Magnus Abe, has told Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, that the government will only pay subsidy for verified claims. Senator Abe, at a forum of the Federated Correspondents Chapel of the Rivers State chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Wednesday, said the nation would not be forced to make payment for what he termed fictitious claims.
Urging the Federal Government to charge those behind the disputed claims to court, Senator Abe, said government should stick to fair trade practice. He said: “We stand with the Federal Government not to pay disputed claims until they were verified. Those verified should be paid. The Federal Government can’t pay disputed claims. Government should charge those behind fictitious claims to court. Let it be subjected to judicial process.” Fielding questions on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, before the National Assembly, Senator Abe, said Nigerians would be given opportunity to contribute meaningfully to it before it becomes law.
He enjoined all sections of the country to look beyond oil as the mainstay of the nation’s economy, adding that all states should explore their potentials for the overall development of the country. “We should look beyond oil in this country to tackle the challenges of poverty. I am happy governors of the Niger Delta have started working along this line,” Abe said. He said poverty had remained an issue in the country because of the over dependence on oil.