20 February 2014, Abuja – It was a revelation galore Wednesday as the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Reginald Chika Stanley, told the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Downstream investigating the retention of subsidy on kerosene, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was the recipient of subsidy claims accruing from the importation of the product.
According to Stanley, his agency relies on the imported kerosene volume figures forwarded to it by the NNPC, whose details are used in effecting the payment of subsidy claims.
Another matter which came to limelight was that the former Principal Private Secretary to late President Umar Yar’adua, David Edevbie, allegedly delayed the implementation of his boss’s directive banning the subsidy on kerosene.
The Managing Director of the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, who did not mention Edevbie by name said he instructed the Minister of Petroleum at that time, Dr. Rilwan Lukman, to conceal the directive.
But Stanley informed the committee that a total of N331 billion was approved to be paid to NNPC as subsidy claims covering the period of 2009-2011, after the issue of the presidential order on the suspension of kerosene subsidy.
He further revealed that within the 19 months -January 2012 to July 2013-there were total of over 3 billion litres of kerosene imported into the country by the NNPC, which had a corresponding amount of N543.89 billion as the subsidy claim.
He insisted that PPPRA has not been ascertaining whether the submitted volume of litres imported were actually discharged in Nigerian shores as claimed or not, adding that it always verify what they received from NNPC documents.
Meanwhile, Momoh explained that the concealment directive, allegedly given by Edevbie left the NNPC in a dilemma resulting in the sustenance of kerosene subsidy.
Declining to be explicit on the matter, Momoh, who said: “I will not delve into those presidential matters,” claimed that the kerosene subsidy was always being made by the corporation, and the payments always went to it.
He indicated that the sole responsibility of issuing issue permit for any importation into the country lies with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), thus even his agency cannot be engaged in kerosene importation without DPR licence.
– Muhammad Bello, This Day