The secrecy behind the payment of 300 billion Naira subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, without the approval of the National Assembly may soon come to limelight. 

Investigations into the issues has started, with the House of Representatives on Wednesday resolving to invite the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to explain the payment of the subsidy.

The House also asked the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, and the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Abdulkadir Umar, to appear before its Committees on Finance and Petroleum Resources.

Adopting a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by Sunday Karimi, the members urged the Federal Government to make provision for subsidy payment in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, if it is interested in continuing with the payment of subsidy on petrol.

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Leading the debate on the motion, Karimi pointed out that between January and December, the Federal Government through the NNPC claimed to have spent over 300 billion Naira on payment of subsidy for petrol.

He described the payment made without the approval of the parliament as a breach of Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution which provided that no money should be withdrawn from the federation account except as prescribed by the National Assembly.

"In December 2017, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, have both admitted that the current landing cost of petrol is 171 Naira per litre despite the fact that the Federal Government has pegged official rate at 145 Naira per litre.

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"At the moment, it is the NNPC that is paying for the cost or deferential of 26 Naira per litre despite the fact that government has posited that it has removed petroleum subsidy in the 2017 Appropriation Act," Karimi said. 

It is the second time that the Minister and the GMD of the NNPC will be visiting the National Assembly within two weeks. 

The cost of bringing fuel had caused fuel scarcity in the nation, resulting in Nigerians buying fuel for over 200 Naira per litre in several parts of the country over the yuletide. 

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