11 February 2014, Abuja – The absence of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, on Monday stalled a public hearing on kerosene subsidy by the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).
Officials of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company and the Department of Petroleum Resources also shunned the hearing.
The House had on November 27, 2013 resolved to probe the subsidy regime on kerosene after fresh revelations indicated that the regulatory agencies were subsidising the importation of the product contrary to a Presidential directive stopping it.
Besides, the House had observed that the product was not being sold at the approved pump price of N50 per litre at distribution outlets in the country.
But, on Monday, the minister and key officials of the regulatory agencies failed to turn up for the hearing.
A frustrated Chairman of the committee, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, lamented that between January 10 and February 6, the committee had sent up to five invitations to the officials, including using the mass media, to no avail.
Peterside came to address the stakeholders, who had gathered for the hearingsession, and offered his apologies after most of them had waited for over two hours for the hearing that was never to be.
According to him, the first set of letters went out on January 10, informing the officials that the hearing would take place on January 29.
He said because there were no responses, the committee sent reminders on January 18 and January 27.
On January 28, Peterside stated that the committee resorted to media invitations but still did not get adequate responses from the agencies as they reportedly refused to forward the documents the committee requested from them.
– The Punch