Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The inability of the minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, to appear before a scheduled investigation by the House of Representatives on Monday into the alleged N634 billion subsidy on kerosene forced the lawmakers to postpone the probe.
The investigation, which has now been fixed for next Tuesday, February 18, was also expected to have the duo of Engr. Andrew Yakubu, group managing director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Engr. Haruna Momoh, managing director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
Announcing the postponement of the investigation in Abuja, Dakuku Peterside, chairman, committee on petroleum resources (Downstream), said the exercise could not go on because the ministry and NNPC were central in the kerosene subsidy regime, noting that it was impossible to continue with the investigation without the two bodies.
“We are now compelled in this circumstance to once again put off the public hearing. We are adjourning to Tuesday, 18th February, but we want to assure Nigerians that we owe them every responsibility to unearth every expenditure and subsidy on kerosene,” he added.
The three-day investigation, which was supposed to begin by 10 a.m., could not start until 12 noon due to the absence of the key stakeholders, which forced the committee to shift it to Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
A letter sent to the committee and signed by Hon. Danladi Kifasi, permanent secretary of the ministry, read: “(the minister) will be participating in the International Summit on Power Financing starting today, 10th February, 2014.
As a result, we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation”.
On their parts, both the NNPC and PPMC, in separate, but similar letters signed by M B Bamanga and G O Komolafe, respectively, said that they were engaged with the Senate committee on finance.
Meanwhile, Yakubu was at the Presidential Villa, where he represented the minister at the Nigeria Power Sector Financing Conference, with the theme: private sector financing/support for electric power and infrastructure.