Saraki: Senate to probe diversion of NLNG’s dividend by NNPC

OrderPaperToday- The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has said that upon resumption of plenary the chamber will intensify investigations on the illegal diversion done by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Previously, a point of order was raised by Senator Biodun Olujimi on several unapproved spendings being carried out in the petroleum corporation, which led to the creation of an ad hoc committee chaired by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan.

In the recent investigative hearing, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, revealed how and why the corporation was diverting the dividends from the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) to defray the cost of under-recovery in the importation of fuel.

In a press statement released on Monday by Saraki’s Spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the President of the Senate assured the public that the red chamber will not cover up the matter.

He said: “Let me assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We are confident the adhoc committee will do a thorough job. All the issues will be unearthed. That is why when the Senate set up investigative committees on issues, we want Nigerians to have confidence in us that we do not act because we want to embark on a wild goose chase. There must be some serious issues to be looked into. The revelations by the NNPC GMD have justified the need for this investigation and they have shown that we are acting in good faith.

“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. That is why we set up the committee in the first place and to demonstrate the seriousness we attach to the issue, we decided that the adhoc committee should be led by the Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan,

“We are however shocked that the NNPC GMD was claiming that the illegal diversion of dividends from the NLNG which should be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for the purpose of funding the fuel subsidy was done ‘in compliance with the National Assembly directive that NNPC as the supplier of last resort should, and has, maintained robust petrol supply’.

“So, if the National Assembly called on NNPC to carry out its legitimate duty of ensuring adequate fuel supply to Nigerians, the GMD logically thinks the corporation by that call has the license to perpetrate illegality, spend money without approval and violate appropriations law. It is my belief that if the National Assembly said the corporation should perform its duty effectively as a supplier of fuel to Nigerians without exposing people to needless suffering, that ought to be done within the ambit of the law.

“This investigation will require the GMD to produce the approval given by the National Assembly and other necessary approving bodies authorizing the NNPC to divert the dividend from the NLNG investment which ought to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund belonging to the three tiers of government for the payment of fuel subsidy,” he concluded.

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