Reps Summon Finance Minister Over Subsidy, Query NNPC

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The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has been called to appear before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy regime from 2013 to 2022 on Tuesday next week.

Ahmed must come before the committee with all the documentation the legislators have requested about the claims and payments made for subsidies during the time period under consideration. At the panel’s Tuesday investigation hearing in Abuja, the chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, issued the summons.

Members of the committee had criticized Stephen Okon, the director of home finance for the ministry, for showing up without a letter from Ahmed appointing him as her representative.

Aliyu decried the non-appearance of several invited agencies, calling out the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and Shell Petroleum Development Company, among others.

After Okon was eventually allowed to speak, the director said he only appeared before the lawmakers to seek more time for the ministry to collate and present the required documents. The committee consequently gave the committee one week to do so.

The chairman said, “This committee requested from you to know the total amount released from the Consolidated Revenue Account as subsidy payments from January 2013 to date; the total amount released from other accounts other than the Consolidated Revenue Account to subsidy payments from January 2013 to date; breakdown of beneficiaries; companies that enjoyed releases from the Consolidated Revenue Account and other revenue accounts as subsidy payments.

“Identify each beneficiary with the amount sent to them, month by month, covering the period from January 2013 to date; all correspondences between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding subsidy payments from January 2013 to date; evidence of lodgement of forex into Consolidated Revenue Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation now (Nigerian National Petroleum Company) Limited as revenue from January 2013 to date.

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