Is the cat finally out of the bag?

After the government said it had scrapped payment of fuel subsidy from its books, and increased petrol pump price from 87-naira per litre to 143-naira per litre, it was discovered that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation was drawing huge sums from its books to pay for fuel subsidy.

The NNPC had tried to justify this as an operational cost that it could incur without requiring any budgetary provisions but the lawmakers at the Senate would have none of it.

On Thursday, the Senate declared the current payments by the NNPC for subsidy on fuel as outrightly illegal.

The lawmaker asked the corporation to refund the sum of 216 billion naira spent for the purpose in 2017 under the guise of “operational costs” into the Federal Government’s coffers.

Also Read: What Buhari Failed To Tell Nigerians About Return Of Fuel Subsidy

The legislature also asked the corporation to stop further payment of the subsidy, while asking it to pay the arrears owed fuel marketers.

The senate also resolved to legalise the payment by including it in the 2018 budget, while calling for sanctioning of the officials involved.

The Committee on Public Accounts made the recommendations in its report on the investigation into the illegal subsidy payments, which was adopted by the Senate at the plenary on Thursday.

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