The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, on Tuesday in Abuja, asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to disclose the source of funding of kerosene subsidy.
Tambuwal, who was represented by the deputy Speaker, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, made the demand at an investigative hearing on the supply, subsidy and distribution of kerosene in the country.
The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).
He said that since there was no budgetary provision for subsidy on kerosene, Nigerians would want to know the source of funding of the subsidy.
The Speaker noted that in spite of the N1 trillion spent in the past four years to subsidise kerosene, the product had continued to elude Nigerians.
“It is important to note that the country has spent at least N1 trillion over the past four years to subsidise kerosene, yet the product is neither available nor is it sold at the official NNPC pump price.
“When kerosene is available at all, it is sold at such exorbitant rates that Nigerians have to pay huge sums to get the product.’’
Tambuwal said that neither the NNPC nor its agencies had been able to disclose the consumption volume of kerosene per annum.
“Transparency and accountability are things that we should, by now, take for granted in 21st Century democratic Nigeria.
“This mystery surrounding kerosene subsidy warrants a full scale investigation to unravel the truth.
“Nigerians need to know to what extent kerosene subsidy is actually serving their interest,’’ he said.
He maintained that the aim of the hearing was to boost the confidence of Nigerians in the economy.
“This investigation is expected to boost the confidence of the people on how the economy is being managed while protecting the nation from unavoidable losses,’’ he said.
The speaker said that the hearing was not to witch hunt but to discharge the constitutional duty bestowed on the House.
“Let me reiterate that this is a constitutional duty and not a witch hunting exercise.’’