THE Senate has set in motion moves to probe oil subsidies under the recovery regime operated by the federal government till May 29, 2023, when the subsidy was eventually removed.

It also took a swipe at the N9.3 trillion expended on the subsidy regime by the federal government from January 2021 to June 2023, just as it sought living wage for workers as a way of cushioning the effects of subsidy removal.

The Red Chamber equally called for the establishment of three functional refineries for local production and distribution of refined petrol, with a view to bringing down the pump price from N540 per litre to between N300 and N350.

It then resolved that its standing Committees on Petroleum ( Downstream ) Petroleum ( Upstream ) and Finance, should, when constituted, carry out a holistic investigation on all controversies surrounding subsidy and under the recovery regime.

The Upper Chamber urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, in conjunction with some major international oil companies, IOCs, in Nigeria, to form three consortiums and build three refineries for the stabilization of the oil market and the nation’s economy generally,
Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion, titled, “Need to Investigate the controversial Huge Expenditure on Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS) under the subsidy / under recovery regime by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL.”

It said the step taken by President Bola Tinubu on subsidy withdrawal in May was commendable but noted that the regime needed to be investigated.

The motion was sponsored by Senator Chiwuba Ndubueze, APC, Imo North.

In his presentation, Senator Ndubueze noted that while within 10 years ( 2006 – 2015), the Federal Government, through NNPCL, claimed N170billion as under-recovery, it expended a whopping N843.121billion on under-recovery between January 2018 and January 2019.

He said: ” Very worrisome of the expenses made on subsidy/under recovery by NNPCL during the period under review, particularly from January 2021 to June 2023, was N9.3trillion claimed to have been spent.
“The money as shown by available records indicates that in 2021, N1.42trillion was expended; in 2022, N4.3trillion; and in the first six months of 2023, N3.6trillion, totalling, N9.3trillion “
Many of the senators who contributed during the debate, expressed anger over what they described as bogus expenses made on the subsidy regime by NNPCL and supported all the prayers sought in the motion.

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