Senate Probes Oil Subsidy / Under recovery regime — Seeks for living wage for workers , three functional refineries for local production

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By Iyojo Ameh in Abuja

The Senate has resolved to probe oil subsidy and under recovery regime operated by federal government till May 29 , 2023 when subsidy was eventually removed .

It specifically frowned at N9.3trillion expended on the subsidy regime by the federal government from January 2021 to June 2023.

It also seeks for living wage for workers as a way of cushioning the effects of subsidy removal and as well, seeks for establishment of three functional refineries for local production and distribution of refined oil with a view to bringing down the pump price from N540 per litre to between N300 to N350 per litre .

Senate’s resolutions to these effect were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Chiwuba Ndubueze ( APC Imo North) .

Ndubueze in the motion titled : ” Need to Investigate the controversial Huge Expenditure on Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS) under the subsidy / under recovery regime by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited ( NNPCL) “, said the step taken by President Bola Tinubu on subsidy withdrawal in May , was commendable but the regime needs to be investigated .

He specifically submitted that while within 10 years ( 2006 – 2015), federal government through NNPCL , claimed N170billion as under recovery , it expended whopping N843.121billion on under recovery between January 2018 and January 2019 .

” Very worrisome of the expenses made on subsidy/ under recovery by NNPCL during period under review , particularly from January 2021 to June 2023 , was N9.3trillion claimed to have been spent .

” The money as shown by available records , shows that in 2021, N1.42trillion was expended , in 2022 , N4.3trillion and in the first six months of 2023 , N3.6trillion , totalling , N9.3trillion ”

Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the motion , frowned at bogus expenses made on the subsidy regime by NNPCL and supported all the prayers sought for , in the motion .

The Senate accordingly resolved that its standing committees on Petroleum ( Downstream ) , Petroleum ( Upstream ) and Finance , should when constituted , carry out holistic investigation on all controversies surrounding subsidy and under recovery regime .

It also urged the NNPCL in conjunction with some major international oil companies ( IOCs) in Nigeria , to form three different consortium and build three refineries for stabilization of oil market and the Nation’s economy generally .

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