15 February 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government will on Thursday explain whether the payment of subsidy on kerosene by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is legal or illegal.
It was learnt that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Bello Adoke, will next week before the Senate investigative panel, clear the air on the controversial issue.
This is coming as the NNPC stated that if it expands the reach of its mega filling stations across Nigeria to sell kerosene at N50 per litre, many private investors in the sector will run out of business.
The acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Omar Ibrahim, told our correspondent that the attorney-general would tell if the corporation was right or wrong in subsidising kerosene.
He said, “The minister had said that it would be interpreted by the judiciary through its usual process. Next week the Attorney-General of the Federation will come to the National Assembly and he will tell us whether subsidy on kerosene is legal or illegal.
“On the kerosene issue, we have two contending arguments. The NNPC says it has not received a directive and therefore cannot stop what it met on the ground. The other party says no, there is a directive, whether it is communicated through proper channel or not is immaterial.
“So we want to wait for the attorney-general because the chairman of senate committee has invited him and he will come next week Thursday. Let’s wait and see what he says because today what we are having now is a legal issue which needs a legal interpretation. Therefore it is advisable to wait and see what the legal luminaries are going to say.”
Asked to comment on why kerosene is hardly purchased at N50 across the country despite the billions of naira spent on subsidising the product, Ibrahim explained that the NNPC, in the interest of private investors, would not commandeer the entire sale of kerosene nationally.
– The Punch