Senate uncovers N120bn differential in subsidy payment as IPMAN kicks
The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday raised an eyebrow over a huge differential of N120billion in subsidy payment to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in 2016.
Relying on the 2016 report by the Auditor-General of the Federation, the federal lawmakers said the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has explanations to make as they noted that while the subsidy amount reflected in the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) was N443 billion, the PPPRA presented the sum of N563 billion in its record.
The OAGF query read in part: “The amounts reflected in FAAC records at the OAGF (Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation) of N443,940,559,974.80 as subsidy payments during the year 2016 is at variance with the total amount paid of N563,283,294,925.47 in the records of PPPRA as subsidy payments during the year 2016.”
Making a presentation before the Committee, National President of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said his association was ignorant of the list and identities of the beneficiaries of the N80 billion differential.
He said: “We have over 50,000 members cut across the nooks and cranny of the country. We don’t know the real beneficiaries of the subsidy payments. If you give us the list of the beneficiaries of the subsidy, we can now reach out to them.”
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, consequently asked the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA to appear before his Committee and give explanations on the list of beneficiaries.
The documented report of the Auditor General of the Federation further revealed that the sum of N121 billion was paid as outstanding subsidy commitments to oil marketers for 117 transactions in 2014.
It said the sum of N441.9 billion was paid to oil marketers as subsidy commitments for 324 transactions in 2015.
“From records presented for audit, there was no year 2016 Petroleum Support Fund payment made as a
result of the removal of subsidy on petroleum products with the increase pump price from N89 to N143.
“Only outstanding payments for previous years 2014 and 2015 and interest payments were made in 2016.
“We were unable to carry out verification visits to the Oil marketers to confirm their eligibility to draw from the Petroleum Support Fund. This was as a result of the PPPRA‟s inability to provide the letters of introduction for us to gain access to the Oil Marketers.
“We were therefore unable to confirm that the amounts disbursed were paid to legitimate Marketers,” the query read.
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