Reps summons finance minister over subsidy payment

By Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Ad-hoc Committee of the Nigerian House of Representatives investigating oil subsidy payments between 2013 and 2022, has summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, to appear before it on Tuesday, August 16 for questioning.

 

Mrs Ahmed is to appear before the committee with all the documents demanded by the lawmakers relating to subsidy claims and payments in the period under review.

 

Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, handed down the summon with the concurrence of members of the panel when the Director, Home Finance, in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Stephen Okon, appeared to answer questions on the issue.

 

Aliyu stated, “We are giving the minister of finance one week to appear before this committee and make presentations.”

 

Aliyu regretted the absence of many agencies, which were billed to appear for the investigation.

 

According to him, some of the agencies that failed to send communications to the committee included DSS, Shell, Inspector General of Police, and Office of the Accountant-General, among others.

 

The committee, however made demands of some documents from the minister, insisting they were necessary for the investigation.

 

“This committee requested from you to know the total amount released from the consolidated revenue account as subsidy payments from January 2013 to date; the total amount released from other accounts other than the consolidated revenue account to subsidy payments from January 2013 to date; a breakdown of beneficiaries, companies that enjoyed releases from consolidated revenue account and other revenue accounts as subsidy payments.

‘’The committee also wanted the ministry to identify each beneficiary with the amount sent to them month by month, covering the period between January 2013 to date; all correspondences between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding subsidy payments from January 2013 to date.

“It also included evidence of lodgement of forex into a consolidated revenue account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, now limited, as revenue from January 2013 to date,” he said.

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