Diezani shuns Senate over N500bn Sure-P funds

Senate-Chamber506 December 2013, Abuja – Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke once again failed to appear before the Senate special ad-hoc committee on the Subsidy Re-Investment Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.

The committee led by Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP, Bauchi), had invited the minister to explain some discrepancies discovered in the submission made by the ministry in respect to the monies remitted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remitted to the SURE-P committee to the tune of N500 billion.

At the resumption of the committee’s sitting yesterday, neither Mrs. Allison-Madueke, nor any of her representatives attended the meeting at the National Assembly complex.

According to Ningi:”the ministry of petroleum resources is the foundation of the SURE – P and we see that they have something to hide and we strongly believe that the documentation that we have received from the petroleum resources embarrasses us as a committee. There are various contradictions of the statistics provided. When we found out we said the programme was not being run transparently enough for Nigerians to believe that this is a programme that caters for them.”

He said it was disrespectful for the ministry of petroleum resources to put up “various write ups on the pages of newspapers, faulting our claims without supplying statistical data”.

The committee had reported the refusal of the minister to honour its invitation to the Senate President who “assured us that he will take the matter to the president, Ningi said.

Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who was also scheduled to appear before the committee yesterday sent an apology letter excusing herself that she was representing the president at a global fund event in the United States of America. She said she would be available next week Tuesday.
*Turaki A. Hassan, Daily Trust

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