20 November 2013, Abuja – The Senate ad-hoc committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) says the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) is yet to provide any official communication to the committee in respect of the “missing” N500 billion that ought to have accrued to the programme.
SURE-P announced at the weekend in Minna, Niger State, that it had set aside the sum of N15 billion to pay allowances to unemployed graduates participating in its Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS).
Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara, APC), a member of the SURE-P Senate committee, told LEADERSHIP that NNPC’s inability to respond officially to the allegation had prevented the panel from unravelling the whereabouts of the N500 billion SURE-P funds.
Marafa also stated that the sum of N800 billion had been generated so far from petroleum subsidy as against N300 billion claimed by SURE-P. He stated: “On the part of NNPC, SURE-P said they were given a flat rate of N15 billion per month from CBN; so we invited CBN and NNPC on the same date, to be able to ascertain what these things are. Now we wrote to an organ of the NNPC asking them to tell us how many litres of PMS they had distributed from the time SURE-P started till date, and they gave us those figures.
“We didn’t manufacture them. So copies of those documents were made available to press men; they are public documents and these things come to a figure of 25 billion litres. That is what we said: if you multiply 25 billion by N32 per litre, what you get is N800 billion; and SURE-P said they collected only N300 billion. So where is the remaining N500 billion? That is what we asked for. Where is it? So, NNPC should now come and tell us.
“A paid advertorial in a newspaper is a wrong way of doing it because the allegation was not made by the papers; it was made by the committee, a committee constituted to do that. so if you have anything, you should appear before the committee or respond to the committee.”
Head of GIS of the SURE-P in Niger State, Mr Akubo Adegbe, also disclosed that each of the 50,000 graduates to be recruited for the GIS would earn N25, 000 monthly.
The scheme, he said, is aimed at arming participants with requisite experience in various disciplines preparatory to securing jobs, adding that the graduates would be placed in firms, non-governmental organisations and selected government agencies on a one-year internship.