Senator alleges N500b missing in SURE-P fund


Nigeria's National Assembly:

A member of the Nigerian Senate Ad hoc Committee on the Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Senator Kabiru Marafa has raised an alarm over N500 billion SURE-P funds that are unaccounted for by the NNPC.

Marafa (PDP Zamfara) made the disclosure at a meeting of the committee on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, records made available to the committee show that so far, the money realised from the subsidy funds is up to N800 billion.

“This committee wrote to the relevant organisations that benefit from this SURE-P programme when it was inaugurated. It was said that the subsidy regime was going to be N32 per litre.

“This committee wrote the NNPC to ascertain the quantity of fuel being imported from the time this subsidy programme started.

National Assembly
National Assembly

“The NNPC replied and gave us a break down of the quantity per month from January 2012 to December 2013 which if you calculate, it will give about 21 months.

“When you sum up everything, it comes to roughly about 25 billion litres. Now, if you multiply 25 billion by N32, you get about N800 billion, “he said.

Marafa, however, said the officials of the SURE-P told the committee that they had collected only N300 billion so far for the Programme.

“SURE-P told us, when we invited them, that they collected about N300 billion at N15 billion flat rate per month, so if you multiply 21 by N15 billion, you will get about N315 billion.

“So what we are talking about is the amount involved which is N500 billion, where is it?

“That is what we want NNPC to tell us. They are the ones importing the fuel, they are the custodians,” he said.

However, the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and the Governor of the CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and officials of the NNPC failed to show up at the meeting to explain the shortfall.

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The CBN sent in deputy directors as representatives but the committee insisted that they would take presentations from only a Deputy Governor or a more senior official.

The committee Chairman, Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) said the committee and Senate would use every legitimate opportunity in calling to order those who were treating them with impunity and disdain.

Ningi said that several Nigerians were dissatisfied with the implementation of the SURE-P programme, this was why the Senate wanted to give the implementors the opportunity to clarify the issues.

“I think what this tells us is that this SURE-P programme which seems to be for me a cardinal programme of this government is being undermined from the inside.

“I have no doubt in my mind that the non appearance of these agencies confirm our fears and reservations of Nigerians on the secrecy of the implementation of the SURE -P programme.”

The chairman said since the mandate of the committee was to unravel the details of the implementation of the programme, nothing would make it lose its focus.

“We will not be provoked into not continuing with this job, our job is to keep inviting them.

“We will not succumb to this unfortunate attitude because we are elected directly by the people and all of them are appointed by the president directly.

“They are therefore accountable to us and we are accountable to the people, “he said.

“The National Assembly will not continue to give legitimacy through appropriation to our collective inheritance where the individuals who run it will not come to give account of the monies,’’ he said.

He said that a new date would be communicated to the CBN, the NNPC and the minister to appear before the committee. (NAN)

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