OrderPaperToday – The public hearing on the review of fuel pump price on Friday witnessed some drama as the Committee ordered the arrest of Bulk Strategy Reserve Company Secretary, Mr Ben Amego for misleading the committee and lying under oath in a case of a $22million special Intervention Fund for importation of petrol.
The Committee resolved to make further inquiries into other cases of alleged diversion of foreign exchange (forex) running into several millions of dollars by companies and ordered the appearance of their Chief Executive Officers at its next sitting on March 27, 2017.
Mr. Amego in his testimony claimed his company did not receive forex from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) contrary to official records from the apex bank that showed Bulk Strategy collected $22 million.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Raphael Igbokwe (PDP, Imo) alongside other members were infuriated by the alleged false claim and ordered the police to arrest the company official. He was arrested right there.
The Committee also summoned the Managing Director of the company to appear before the committee at the next sitting.
The Managing Director AITEO Storage was summoned as a representative of the company was found to have falsely claimed not to have participated in the intervention fund but the CBN record showed they collected $18 million.
The Ad-hoc Committee which is investigating the possibility of a downward review of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from the current N145 per litre, is as part of the investigation, probing the regime of special intervention fund started in May 2016 by the Federal Government to assist oil marketers after the removal of oil subsidy.
The forex were given to the marketers at a subsidised rate to import PMS but some of them allegedly diverted the funds for other uses while others sold it in the black market to make quick profit.
Another company, TSL Logistic Ltd represented by Mr. Jumoke Ibironke, claimed that his company did not benefit from the special rates contrary to CBN records which showed recorded the sum of $22 million dollars against its name. The Committee therefore, summoned the Managing Director of the Company to appear before it on 27th March, 2017 to explain how the forex was spent.
In another case, Boni Channel Company, an outsource company engaged by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to carry out dredging of the water ways were indicted for shirking their responsibility despite the fact they have being paid. The Committee therefore ruled that the Managing Director of the company should appear at next sitting along with list of their equipment, asset ledger, number of their dredging activities since 2012, amount received, number of Nigerians in their senior management teams as well as foreigners, their immigration status, audit report and the copy of audited account in the year under the review.
Another firm, BOVAS could not convince the committee on how it spent $37 million received from the CBN prompting Mr. Igbokwe to summon its Managing Director of the Company to appear and come along with evidence of payments to NIMASA, SON and NPA.