OrderPaperToday- The Senate has approved an investigation into the alleged diversion of proceeds from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividends account, used to fund the fuel subsidy by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The red chamber’s decision followed a point of order raised by Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom), where he submitted that the account in questions belongs to the three tiers of government and such diversions, without approval by the National Assembly, is illegal.
“The NLNG dividends account proceeds belongs to the three tiers of government and comes under the consolidated revenue fund account. Therefore, any unauthorised withdrawal from this account without the approval of the National Assembly or any other structure of government is illegal.
“I therefore seek the leave of Mr (Senate) President to allow the Senate Committee on Gas to investigate this withdrawal and other withdrawals and the way and manner NLNG proceeds are treated by the NNPC and report back to the Senate,” he said.
Akpan’s request for a probe was countered by Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan who posited that an ad-hoc Committee, which he chairs, is already investigating subsidy related matters.
“Our committee is working on this and therefore, I don’t think the Senate Committee on Gas should investigate this,” Lawan stated.
In his ruling, however, the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki approved Akpan’s request for a separate investigation into the matter. According to Saraki, the Senate Committee on Gas will focus squarely on the NLNG fund and find out if the funds were also used for other purposes without approval. On the other hand, Lawan’s ad-hoc Committee will continue to focus on the fuel subsidy in general.