Presidential directives not law, can be disregarded – Alison-Madueke

Diezani-Alison-Madueke-600x33014 February 2014, Abuja – Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Wednesday said presidential directives do not have the force of law and can, therefore, be disregarded.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke said this during the ongoing Senate investigative hearing on the alleged missing $20 billion from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The Ahmed Makarfi-led Senate Committee on Finance has been quizzing petroleum ministry and Central Bank of Nigeria officials over the missing funds.

Confidential memos exclusively published by PREMIUM TIMES showed that NNPC’s claims that it spent over 80 per cent of a controversial $10.8billion (about N1.728trillion) on kerosene subsidy may have been a scam after all.

The memos also showed that the purported subsidy on kerosene was against an extant presidential directive to remove subsidy on kerosene from the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF, template.

On June 10, 2009, late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, had approved the resolutions of the Presidential Committee on the Deregulation of the Downstream Petroleum sub-sector.

The memo to the President, No. SH/PSP/24/A/812, had, among several prayers, requested that the petroleum minister be directed to “eliminate existing subsidy on the consumption of kerosene, taking into account that subsidy payments by government on kerosene do not reach the intended beneficiaries.”

On June 2009, a memo No. SH/PSP/24/A/819, signed by the then Principal Secretary to the President, David Edevbie, conveyed the president’s directive to the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

The memo also directed the minister to avoid public announcement of the new directive.

But in spite of the presidential directive, the NNPC, apparently feigning ignorance, still submitted a request for the payment of subsidy on kerosene.

However, in memo: SH/PSP/24/A/1087 dated October 19, 2009, the President rejected the request, pointing out that based on his earlier directive “the NNPC should not be entitled to make claims from the PSF, in respect of kerosene with effect from the date of Mr. President’s approval.”


– Premium Times

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