The Senate will expand its ongoing probe of an alleged subsidy fund retained by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to include dividend from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Senate President Bukola Saraki has said.
Saraki said expanding the probe became necessary in view of the revelation made by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Maikanti Kachalla Baru, at an investigative hearing in Abuja on Thursday.
The GMD had told the Ahmad Lawan-led ad hoc panel probing the alleged $3.5bn subsidy fund by the NNPC that the corporation did not have any amount set aside for subsidy.
He however said that NNPC augments the shortfall of petroleum landing cost through $1.05bn of its dividend from NLNG.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Yusuph Olaniyonu yesterday in Abuja, said the corporation would have to provide explanation on how and why it was “diverting the dividend from NLNG to defray the cost of under-recovery in the importation of fuel.”
The statement said Saraki, while reacting to questions from newsmen at the Ilorin Airport, admitted that he had received series of telephone calls on the issue by many concerned Nigerians and others who wanted to know the position of the Senate on the issues raised by the NNPC’s GMD before the ad hoc panel.
He said the revelation called for further investigation and showed that as alleged in a motion moved earlier by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, a lot of illegal and unapproved spendings are going on in the petroleum corporation.
“When in my ruling on the motion raised by Senator Olujimi, I insisted that we want a transparent, honest and non-partisan investigation on the fuel subsidy issue, it was clear to me and my colleagues that there are certain irregularities being perpetrated and we should let Nigerians know the truth,” he said.
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