22nd November, 2011
Chairman, Senate Joint Committee investigating the management of the fuel subsidy scheme, Senator Magnus Abe, says the committee is determined to unearth the criteria used to select beneficiaries of the scheme.
Abe spoke on Monday in Abuja ahead of the public hearing scheduled to commence today.
â€œThe committee has looked at a lot of the importers and other beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy scheme. Weâ€™ve resolved to call them to come and explain to us how some of them got on the scheme. â€
He said from the documents the committee had received so far, there was a clear indication that most of the beneficiaries were not qualified to participate in the scheme.
â€œFrom the documents submitted by the PPPRA, some members of the committee are convinced that most of the people who participated in the scheme were not even qualified in the first place. â€
He said the Committee had also invited the EFCC and ICPC to attend the public hearing as observers, adding that other relevant stakeholders were also expected to come forward to testify.
He, however, complained that some agencies were yet to submit their written memoranda, saying that this would not dampen the spirit of the committee.
â€œWeâ€™ve tried as much as possible to make sure that we accommodate everybody, weâ€™ve even sent advance questions to them to help them prepare written briefs.
â€œWe should have received these briefs as at November 18, but we received from some agencies; we didnâ€™t receive from others.
â€œNonetheless, we expect that they will be here tomorrow and ready to answer the questions we will ask them.â€
The committee Chairman gave the assurance that the investigation would be as open and transparent as possible.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those expected to attend the public hearing include the Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, her Petroleum counterpart, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke and the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Others are the Group Managing Director of NNPC, both the current and past Executive Secretaries of PPPRA, the former Minister of Finance who is currently the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga.
Dr. Rasheed Gbadamosi, the pioneer Chairman of PPPRA, is also expected to appear before the Committee.