Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has declared that illegality and abuse of financial procedures still bedevil the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in spite of the change in regime.
Saraki, who was represented by the Senate leader, Ahmed Lawal, made the declaration at a public hearing on the re-introduction of subsidy being conducted by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).
He disclosed that the problem had continued despite efforts to sanitise the oil industry. He expressed displeasure at what he described as secret and opaque re-introduction of subsidy in the prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) without any budget approved by the National Assembly.
The Senate President regretted that the government is yet to apply the right strategy ”to nip the problem in the bud”. According to him ‘’payments amounting to N10 trillion were hijacked to favour few individuals. He said, “Findings have brought to light the fact that our downstream oil and gas industry needs critical reforms”.
Saraki charged the committee to “get to the bottom of this issue and proffer long-lasting solutions to this racketeering in the fuel market that leaves the Nigerian people poorer every year. Adding that Other questions the committee must answer include “the actual quantity of fuel the Nigerian market consumers; the underlining reasons why the market is struggling to operate without government intervention; the process and all those involved in signing out unbudgeted funds outside the budget passed by the National Assembly.”
Meanwhile, the NNPC has claimed that the Nigerian Federation was indebted to the corporation to the tune of N170.6 billion outstanding subsidy payments due from January 2006 to December 2015.