Kachikwu And Others To Appear Before House Of Reps Over Payment Of Fuel Subsidy
The House of Representatives on Wednesday has taken a decision to summon the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to provide an explanation on the payment of N300 billion subsidy on petrol, without the endorsement of National Assembly.
The payment which according to members of the house is contrary to the provision of Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution which stated that no money should be withdrawn from the federation account except as prescribed by the National Assembly.
The House has also invited the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, and the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Abdulkadir Umar.
The duo is expected to make an appearance before its Committees on Finance and Petroleum Resources.
The reps also adopted a motion by a member Sunday Karimi (Kogi) which asked the Federal Government to make provision for subsidy payment in the 2019 Appropriation Bill, if it wants to continue the payment of petrol subsidy.
Karimi presenting the motion recalled that, “In December 2017, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, have both admitted that the current landing cost of petrol is N171 per litre despite the fact that the Federal Government has pegged official rate at N145 per litre”.
Speaking further, he said, “At the moment, it is the NNPC that is paying for the cost or deferential of N26 per litre despite the fact that government has posited that it has removed petroleum subsidy in the 2017 Appropriation Act”.
Karimi also noted that “NNPC conceded that fuel subsidy has returned because between January and March 2017, the corporation recorded an `under-recovery’ of N46.86 billion and this trend continued at an increasing rate all through 2017.”
He also said, “Under Recovery implies that expected open market price of PMS, which includes the cost of importation and distribution of the commodity such as marketers margin, landing costs and freight cost is below the approved retail price”.
“As a result, NNPC has been absorbing the extra cost and paying subsidy by itself. “The 1999 Constitution (as amended) prescribes that no monies shall be withdrawn from the consolidated revenue fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in a manner prescribed by the National Assembly.”
“As such, the payment of subsidy by the NNPC without appropriation or consent by National Assembly is illegal and unconstitutional,” Karimi stressed.