The investigation by the Senate has revealed that the NNPC paid 216 billion naira ($707.4 million) in fuel subsidies in 2017 and the upper legislative house said that parliament had not approved those payments by the NNPC.
The Senate thereafter resolved to demand sanction against officials of the NNPC involved in the illegal subsidy payment. It also asked the NNPC to halt forthwith illegal payments without appropriation.
Chairman of the committee, Matthew Urhoghide, who presented the report, noted that the Federal Government spent N3.8 trillion on subsidy between 2010 and 2016.
The Senate asked its Committee on Appropriation as well as Public Accounts to liaise with the Executive to submit the appropriation for subsidy to be included in the 2018 budget estimates. The Auditor General of the Federation, it said, should carry out a forensic audit of NNPC’s account over the last five years.
Other recommendations of the committee also adopted included the need for the Federal Government to pay oil marketers the outstanding subsidy arrears owed them prior to 2017 as well as giving local refineries maximum attention to enable them function in optimal capacity.
The Senate mandated the NNPC to make a formal request to the National Assembly for appropriation for the illegal payments. These are part of the recommendations of the Senate Public Accounts Committee in its report on the investigation into alleged illegal subsidy payments. The recommendations were subsequently adopted by the Senate in plenary.