Subsidy: House Seeks Forensic Audit Of N413bn CBN Loan
By Gloria Essien, Abuja
The Nigerian House of Representatives has called on the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to undertake a forensic audit to ascertain whether the sum of N413billion borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN for subsidy payments was refunded after the passage of the 2015 budget.
This was part of the report of the House Ad-hoc Committee on “Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime in Nigeria from 2013–2022”, which was considered at the Committee and adopted by the House.
The House also urged the Government to immediately design measures and palliatives to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal for Nigerians, through the provision of Compressed National Gas, CNG buses with cheaper fuel consumption.
Similarly, the House urged the Executive Arm of government to liaise with the National Assembly to fashion out critical areas of economic development, which the additional revenue from the proposed subsidy removal would be appropriately utilized.
Furthermore, the House stated that “the government should also introduce intermodal, regional and national transport system to ease mass movement of people across the country.
“That the Nigerian Midstream Down Stream Petroleum Regulatory Commission should issue stricter and most appropriate regulations as provided in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to ensure that Nigerians are not shortchanged through profiteering.
“That the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation Committee should lead a reconciliation meeting between NNPCL, FIRS and JVCs and the Commission on the utilization of their crude entitlements.
“With the total deregulation of the sector, all the agencies involved in crude lifting/security should have a representative with the Nigeria Navy as a lead agency to physically asses and document daily crude production and lifting.”
Other recommendations of the panel, which were equally adopted included that “a further investigation through a forensic audit by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation be made to ascertain whether the N413billion borrowed from the CBN for subsidy payments was refunded after the passage and assent of the 2015 budget as earlier approved by the President and the report of the Auditor General to be submitted to the House for further legislative action.
“With the subsidy removal, the Government should forthwith suspend all Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) contracts. NNPCL should act by the provision of the PIA to ensure that the country is not sub-changed in both production, lifting and sales of crude.
“The Nigeria Customs Service and Weight and Measures Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment be equipped to ascertain the actual daily crude oil lifting from the country for proper checks and balances;
“The Committee recommends that the NEITI Act, 2007 be amended by the National Assembly to be in tune with global best practices.”