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NNPC in fresh N120b subsidy fraud

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THERE are indications that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is embroiled in another subsidy fraud after a differential of N120 billion was uncovered in the payment of subsidy to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulators (PPPRA).

  A report released by Senate Public Account Committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, disclosed this yesterday, while relying on the 2016 query raised by Auditor-General for the Federation, Aghughu Adolphus.

  According to the report, the subsidy amount recorded in the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) was N443 billion while the record presented by PPPRA showed N563 billion.

  “The amounts in FAAC records at the OAGF (Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation) showed that N443,940,559,974.80 was paid for subsidy during the year 2016 and it is at variance with the total amount of N563,283,294,925.47 in the records of PPPRA as subsidy payments during the year 2016.

 From records made available at Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Authority (PPPRA), it was observed that the sum of N121 billion was paid as outstanding subsidy commitments to oil marketers for 117 transactions in 2014.

Hence, 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 PSF 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 report said.

  But the committee summoned PPPRA to provide list of beneficiaries to allow IPMAN respond to issues raised in the query.

  Fielding questions from the panel, National President of IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo said the union had over 50,000 members across the country, adding that the agency did not know the real beneficiary of the N120 billion differentials.

  “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,” he said.

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