The ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the country’s daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called fuel, has summoned the Group Managing Director of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, to brief it on the matter.
Also summoned are the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and others.
The summon was issued on Tuesday as the officials shunned the initial invitation of the panel.
The House had in January, resolved to investigate daily consumption following a motion moved by Hassan Fulata (APC, Jigawa).
DIPLOMATIC DIARY recalls that Kyari had said, that in May 2021, the country was consuming 103 million litres of petrol daily and oscillating between 70 million to 60 million litres daily in June 2021.
The lawmakers had mandated a committee to investigate the claim.
Speaking on Tuesday, Reps Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the Deputy Majority Leader, Peter Akpatason, while declaring the hearing open, expressed dissatisfaction with the attitude of the government officials.
The speaker said the officials are not taking the hearing seriously. He said the MDAs invited should be represented by their chief executives.
He described the attitude of the officials as “an attempt to frustrate the effort of the committee. And the parliament will not take it lightly.”
“In a situation where stakeholders are given the opportunity to come and participate in a parliamentary investigative hearing and organisations are not serious about it, is very unacceptable to the parliament.
“In fact, it was expected that the critical stakeholders that have been invited here should be represented by their chief executive officers. I hardly can see any chief executive officer here how much more not sending any representatives. It is a shame, it is not acceptable to the House of Representatives.
“I want to make it very clear. It is not acceptable to the parliament that people, organisations that are saddled with the responsibility of managing a critical assignment like the distribution of PMS in this county will be reluctant to come here to do their duties”, he said.
Other members of the committee also condemned the officials and called for sanctions.
Aniekan Umanah (PDP, Akwa-Ibom) asked the committee to invoke the necessary part of the law to deal with the officials.
He said despite the huge amount of money appropriated for subsidy, Nigerians are still struggling to get petrol, adding that diesel has become unaffordable for most Nigerians.
Umanah said “For you to sleep in your house now, you will spend 25 to 30 litres of diesel to burn one night alone at N800 to N1000 (per litre). And then we are not taking this seriously?”
In his ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, Abdullahi Abdulkadir (APC, Bauchi), said the officials must appear before the committee to address the issues surrounding daily consumption.