N500bn SURE-P fund missing - Senate

By The Rainbow
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The Senate said on Tuesday the   Nigerian  National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is yet to account  for the N32 removed as subsidy on each litre of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) sold from January 2012 to September 2013.

According to the Senate ad hoc committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, the  NNPC and the Central Bank of Nigeria officials failed to honour an appointment with them on Tuesday.

They were angry that officials of the NNPC failed to honour its invitation to give account of how they managed the accrued fund.

A member of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, said the committee had observed that over N800bn ought to have accrued for the SURE-P  projects between January 2012 and September 2013.

He said  the accrued fund will be over N800bn based on N32  that is removed from each of the 25 billion litres of fuel sold in 21 months.

He said the figure was contained in a letter dated October 9, 2013 from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to the committee. The letter, he said, was signed by the ministry's Director of Finance and Accounts,  Mr. Salmanu Faskari.

Marafa said, 'The committee had earlier written the NNPC to ascertain the quantity of fuel sold from when the subsidy programme started till date. NNPC gave us the quantity sold  from January 2012 and September 2013, covering 21 months.

'If you add everything together,  it will amount to about 25 billion litres and if you multiply 25 billion litres by N32, you get about N800bn. What SURE-P coordinators told us when they appeared before us was that they had so far  collected about N300bn since the subsidy removal regime started.

'The SURE-P team led by Mr. Christopher Kolade said they were receiving N15bn flat rate every month. If you multiply 21 months by N15bn, it will be about N350bn. What we are even asking is what happened to the over N500bn difference. That is what we ask the NNPC to come and tell us.

'We were also disappointed that the CBN was not here because they are the custodian of the fund. They should come and account for how they came about the N15bn they were remitting every month when it was not the same quantity of fuel they were selling every month.

'The figure cannot be a flat rate. Based on the figure which the ministry supplied, in January this year, the nation consumed about 1.3 billion litres of petrol but it had dropped to 770, 695, 645 in September 2013.'

Chairman of the Senate ad hoc committee on SURE-P,  Senator Abdul Ningi, threatened to use all legitimate means to bring the affected officials before the committee.