Very few filling stations sell kerosene at the approved pump price.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to investigate the Federal Government’s expenditure and subsidy on kerosene from 2010 to 2013.
It mandated the committee to ascertain the source of money used in financing the subsidy, the budgetary approval, identify benefitting companies, and establish the extent to which the products get to consumers.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Adeyinka Ajayi (APC-Osun), which was unanimously adopted.
Leading the debate, Mr. Ajayi noted that kerosene meant for sale to marketers at N40.9 per litre hardly get to the consumers at the regulated price.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail outlets were the only ones selling kerosene for N50 per litre, while independent marketers sell at N130 and N135 per litre.
He recalled that the Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) had said the country spent over N634 billion on kerosene subsidy between 2010 and 2012.
Mr. Ajayi said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Appropriation, had denied government payment on subsidy on kerosene in the last two years.
He said there were conflicting claims by Ms. Okonjo-Iweala and the NNPC on the source and amount of money used in subsidising kerosene.
“The Minister of Finance allegedly stated that the annual budgetary subsidy provision did not include subsidy for kerosene, and therefore, not being handled by Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA),’’ he said.
He maintained that investigation into kerosene subsidy would promote transparency and accountability in the supply of the commodity to consumers.
Forte Dike (PDP-Anambra) said there had been inconsistency in the distribution of kerosene in the country.
Mr. Dike said no Nigerian could conveniently say that he or she bought kerosene at N50 per litre outside NNPC outlets.
Raphael Igbokwe (PDP-Imo) said government had good intentions, while marketers and some heads of government agencies had contrary intentions.
He said if the investigation was conducted, a lot of revelations would be unravelled about the distribution of kerosene in the country.
Akintoye Albert (PDP-Ondo) identified diversion by marketers as one of the major problems confronting the distribution of the product to consumers.
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