Reps confront the minister of finance and inquire about the state of the NNPC.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed summons to give account.

The Minister of Funds, Planning, and Regional Development, Zainab Ahmed, has been called to testify just before House of Reps Advisory Committee, which is looking at the oil products subsidy system from 2013 through 2022. 

Ahmed must come before the committee with all the documentation the legislators have requested about the claims and payments made for subsidies during the time period under consideration. 

At the board's Tuesday investigation conference in Abuja, the chairperson of the committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, ordered the court order. 

Members of the panel had criticized Stephen Okon, the head of housing loans for the ministry, for showing up without a letter from Ahmed appointing him as her representative.

The Nigerian Police Force, the Directorate of Social Welfare, the Ministry of the Accountant-General of the Republic, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, and other summoned agencies were among those Aliyu criticized for failing to show up. 

 

When Okon was finally given the chance to speak, the director claimed that the only reason he had been before the MPs was to request extra time for the ministry to compile and deliver the necessary documentation. 

As a result, the panel allowed the committee a week just to do so.

The chairman declared, "This committee asked that you provide us with the following information: the total amount disbursed from the Consolidated Revenue Account as subsidy payments since January 2013; the total amount transferred to subsidy payments from January 2013 to the present from accounts other than the Consolidated Revenue Account; breakdown of recipients; businesses that received subsidy payments through releases from the Consolidated Revenue Account and other revenue accounts; 

 

"Identify each beneficiary and the amount that has been paid to them each month since January 2013; provide copies of all correspondence between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding subsidy payments from January 2013 to the present; and provide proof of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation's current deposit of foreign currency into the Condensed Revenue Account."

"Excellent deposits anticipated from the NNPC to the condensed income statement denoting durations, years, and time frames; remark of account of all financial institution records; proof of NNPC and its associates; subsidiary companies transfer of funds to the Trust Fund in accordance with the guidelines of the President and Commanding officer; summary of records managed by the NNPC and subsidiaries underneath the TSA administration; collection of commercial financial institutions operated by the NNPC and subsidiaries."

We are allowing the finance minister a week just to stand before this council and give presentations, Aliyu said. 

The Sahara Energy Resource Limited delegation, led by Benson Oko, was also interrogated by the committee. 

The MPs criticized the company's written submissions to the committee, particularly those that addressed its legal position. 

Mark Gbillah, a committee member, had discovered inconsistencies in the paperwork, particularly in the instance where Sahara Trade West Africa Limited had issued a letter of authorization on behalf of Sahara Energy Resource Limited.

The committee decided to confirm the establishment of the firms as a result. 

 

According to the agreement, Sahara Energy Resources is a business that was established in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Both Sahara representatives testified on oath that their company was not based in Nigeria. 

 

"Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I wish to submit a motion requesting they give us information about Sahara Energy Resource's incorporation status, including their address, holdings, and company profile. My concern is that a firm who does not have a presence in Nigeria is now being hired to take part in this crucial expenditure of our shared wealth even though it does not match the turnover criterion listed as a requirement for the transaction.

In his judgement, the chairman ordered the oil corporation to appear in two weeks and claimed that the MPs weren't trying to persecute anyone. 

 

"We are merely carrying out our constitutional duty, and we are authorized by law to summon anyone, and their refusal to comply may result in heavy sanctions or repercussions," Aliyu stated. 

 

"We decided that Sahara Energy Resource should present all pertinent paperwork and data as outlined in the petition and show up within the following two weeks. The Chief Executive Officer needs to show up.


Peter Akinlabi

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