The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate payments for subsidies on petroleum products primarily Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol under the regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, is to set up an ‘Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021,’ which is to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.
The probe is based on a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime in Nigeria from 2017 to 2021,’ which a member of the House, Sergius Ogun, moved at the plenary on Wednesday and the lawmakers unanimously adopted.
Ogun noted that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.
He also noted that Section 32 of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, saddles the Petroleum Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority with regulating and monitoring technical and commercial midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria.
The lawmaker said as of 2002, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s purchase of crude oil at international market prices stood at 445,000 barrels per day in order to enable it to provide petroleum products for local consumption;
“The House is concerned that as of 2002, the installed capacity of Nigeria’s local refineries stood at 445,000 barrels per day, however, their capacity utilisation began to nosedive and eventually fell completely to zero due to the ineffectiveness and alleged corruption of critical stakeholders in the value chain,” he said.