Subsidy fraud: Prosecute NNPC officials, oil marketers tell Govt

23 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners Association, JEPTFON, has asked the Nigerian government to extend its current corruption battle on oil subsidy scam to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, alleging that the national oil company collected 70 per cent of the subsidy funds.

The association, which threw a challenge to President Goodluck Jonathan to forward the Aig-mokhuede report on the fuel subsidy payments to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, if it is sure of its credibility, claimed there was no justice in indicting 25 oil marketers over the scam and asking them to refund N62.31bn while the NNPC is let off the hook.

“This is not blackmail. We had expected that if that committee (Imokhuede’s) report is sorted out, it should have been passed to the EFCC because nobody is above the law,” said Mr. Enoch Kanawa, executive secretary of JEPTFON.

Kanawa questioned government’s lack of interest in knowing what was going on at the NNPC as he alleged that the corporation collected 70 per cent of the N2.5tn the government spent on subsidy.

He said: “People should find out that, of the N2.5tn spent on subsidy, the minister is indicting marketers for only N408bn, where is the remaining money.

“As far as we are concerned, 70 per cent of this subsidy money was collected by NNPC and NNPC has never submitted itself to the investigation and we are supposed to be competitors.

“As of today, we are the only people that are being investigated. We still don’t want to raise some of the issues because PIB is coming. Out of that N2.5tn subsidy claims, NNPC alone got almost N1tn as arrears for 2010.”

Kanawa also faulted the Federal Government’s N888bn subsidy budget for 2012, adding that going by the country’s current consumption rate of 35 million litres of fuel per day, the amount would have been exhausted before the end of the year.

The development, he alleged, was partly responsible for the selective payment of fuel subsidy claims by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He said, “The truth is that these people have told the President that they are going to recover money for him from marketers and when they could not do that they have to do what they are doing now.

“Beyond that, the minister of finance also gave the president a false budget estimate for oil subsidy and for her to go back is a problem. We have not seen the end of this problem.

“The minister of state told FEC that they will restrict subsidy to N20bn to marketers and N31bn to NNPC. But I can tell you that N51bn will not be enough to pay for subsidy because when you factored N50 for PMS at 35 million litres per day, then that N51bn cannot pay for it.

“All these things that are happening are just to buy time and the reality will come by the time they finish paying the amount they have and then we will see how N51bn can pay for importation.

“With the current budget for subsidy, fuel scarcity is imminent, they are just buying time.”

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