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FUEL SUBSIDY PROBE: EXPECT THOROUGH REPORT-SENATE

By NBF News
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Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Appropriation and Finance, Magnus Abe, has said that Nigerians should expect a thorough report on the investigation of government's fuel subsidy regime.

Senator Abe dismissed reports that the Senate was under pressure to present its own version of the fuel subsidy probe after the controversy generated by that of the Hon. Farouk Lawan-led ad-hoc committee.

Speaking with Daily Sun yesterday, Abe reiterated that because of the volume of documentary evidence garnered at the public hearing, the joint committee is taking its time to collate and write the report.

He noted that the final report would be one that every committee member would be ready to 'own up to' when it is submitted in the Senate chamber.

His words: 'The Senate committee received packs of documents from each of these subsidy participants and we needed to take our time to peruse these papers as dispassionately as possible.

'Personally, nobody has spoken to me and nobody has tried to influence me and I have not received any such report from any of my colleagues. In a situation such as this, there would always be speculations and there is no way you can stop these speculations.

'But the assurance I would like to give is that we taking our time because we want the Senate report to be as factual as possible and based exactly on what we see out of what our considerations have been and also, as much as possible look at a lot of the critical issues that made this challenge possible in the first place.

'So, in trying to be as thorough as we can, we are bound to take quite a bit of time and you must also remember that after the House of Representatives started its investigation, we had to put ours on hold and we didn't resume until the House finished everything they were doing.

'Because we didn't want to create a conflict between both chambers of the National Assembly since they had resumed on a Sunday and had taken off, we decided to hold on until they finished and that was what we did.

'So, it's only proper that since they finished first, their report would naturally come in first before ours but we are taking our time to see that as much as possible, we do a thorough job that we ourselves would be ready to own up to what we have done.'

The Abe-led committee organized series of public hearings on the fuel subsidy regime between November 2011 and February 2012, based on a resolution arising from a motion by Senator Bukola Saraki, who blew the whistle on extra-budgetary spendings.