Petrol Subsidy Payment: Reps Summons Kachikwu, Others
The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to invite the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to explain the payment of N300 billion subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, without approval from the National Assembly.
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 Rep. Sunday Karimi (Kogi), 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.
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 N300 billion 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the approval of the parliament as a breach of Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution which provided that no money should be withdrawn from the federation account except as prescribed by the National Assembly.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, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, have both admitted that the current landing cost of petrol is N171 per litre despite the fact that the Federal Government has pegged official rate at N145 per litre.
“At the moment, it is the NNPC that is paying for the cost or deferential of N26 per litre despite the fact that government has posited that it has removed petroleum subsidy in the 2017 Appropriation Act.
“NNPC conceded that fuel subsidy has returned because between January and March 2017, the corporation recorded an `under recovery’ of N46.86 billion and this trend continued at an increasing rate all through 2017.
“Under Recovery implies that expected open market price of PMS, which includes cost of importation and distribution of the commodity such as marketers margin, landing costs and freight cost is below the approved retail price.
“As a result, NNPC has been absorbing the extra cost and paying subsidy by itself.
“The 1999 Constitution (as amended) prescribes that no monies shall be withdrawn from the consolidated revenue fund or any other public fund of the federation, except in a manner prescribed by the National Assembly.
“As such, the payment of subsidy by the NNPC without appropriation or consent by National Assembly is illegal and unconstitutional,” Karimi said.
Contributing to the motion, Rep. Ahman Pategi faulted NNPC for paying subsidy to tune of 300 billion in 2017 without recourse to the parliament.
He said “probably NNPC is paying the subsidy to itself.“This problem cannot be resolved so long as the price of crude is increasing’’.
On his part, the Deputy Chief Whip, Pally Iriase called for the full deregulation of the downstream sector to curb the corruption currently associated with it and open it up for private investment.
However, the Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Rep. Joseph Akinlaja said that the N300 billion paid to marketers are areas of subsidy owed them by the federal government.
He, however, said that the marketers were agitating that they were still owed by the federal government.
Rep. Johnson Agbonayima said that the resuscitation of the country’s refineries can address the crises in the petroleum industry.
“Today, no refinery is working and I believe that something needs to be done,’’ he added.
LASEMA Rescues Woman Trapped In Mud
A middle aged woman trapped in the mud under Third Mainland Bridge, inward Iyana Oworo area of Lagos was on Wednesday rescued by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, (LASEMA).
It was gathered that LASEMA’s Response Team rescued the victim in the early hours of the day.
The General Manager, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu said the middle aged woman was found trapped in the mud under the intersection wing of the Third Mainland Bridge outward Iyana Oworo.
He said, “The victim, an adult female was reportedly said to be walking through the muddy soil and eventually got trapped in the mud. The timely intervention of the LASEMA Response Team, the Lagos State Fire Service and other emergency responders culminated into the rescuing alive of the victim.
“The victim was rescued with the aid of the LRU heavy duty equipment (Crane) assisted by officials of the Lagos State Fire Service. Upon rescue, the victim was administered first aid treatment and later moved to the Lagos State Teaching Hospital for proper medical treatment.”
Tiamiyu said it was difficult to ascertain why and how the incident occurred as the lady was said to be presently traumatized and required medical attention for stabilization.
He advised Lagosians to be very careful when moving around muddy area.
FERMA Engages 800 Unemployed Youths In Kebbi
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), in Kebbi, has engaged 800 unemployed youths in its Vegetation and Silt Control programme, an intervention to maintain roads and reduce accidents in the state.
The State Coordinator of the agency, Mallam Rilwanu Usman, made this disclosure in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday.
“We learnt that the vegetation and silt needed to be controlled in view of the harmful and devastating effects they had been causing to roads and motorists plying our roads in the state.
“Outgrowth of vegetation serves as hideout for armed robbers and also obstruct site distance by motorists; hence we engaged the youths as part of our efforts to reduce the rate of accident.
“By this, we prevent damage of vehicles and increase the life span of roads as well as reduce unemployment and idleness among the youth,” he said.
He said youths were engaged in collaboration with district heads in the area to assist in clearing the vegetation and silt spanning 100 kilometers in Koko/Besse Local Government Area.
Usman added that the agency was also carrying out road maintenance; total repairs and work in Birnin Kebbi, Argungu and Sokoto State border road.
“The road is 82 kilometres length; it is pervaded by hydrological structures problem.
“It was rehabilitated six years ago by the State Government on behalf of the Federal Government but before work began, the road had since been in bad state,” he said.
The coordinator said the agency had repaired bad roads in Kanfani, Gotomo, Gangarin-Yantifa and potholes in Zauro along Birnin Kebbi and Argungu road.
He expressed optimism that the intervention would be sustained by the new management of FERMA with vigour and commitment in order to achieve potholes free roads in the state.Read More
Kidnappers Kill 2 Policemen, Abduct American, Canadian In Kaduna
A gang of suspected kidnappers have killed two policemen and abducted two foreign nationals on Kwoi-Jere road in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The victims had visited Kafanchan and Kaura but were ambushed on their way back around 7:00 PM on Tuesday.
Competent police source said the two policemen killed were escorting the two foreign nationals when they were ambushed.
“Two policemen were killed in the ambush while an American and a Canadian were abducted along Kwoi-Jere road, off Kaduna-Abuja highway.
“It’s a sad development but I am sure the Police would get to the root of the matter,’’ the source added.
Spokesman of Kaduna State Police Command, Muktar Aliyu did not respond to inquiries on the incident while efforts to get the Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh was unsuccessful.Read More
Grandma Burns Grand-daughter’s Hand, Arrested
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Osun Command, says it has arrested a woman who allegedly burnt the hands of her nine-year-old granddaughter for eating her brother’s food.
Mr. Babawale Afolabi, the Public Relations Officer of the command, disclosed this to newsmen in Osogbo on Wednesday.
Afolabi said the incident occurred on Jan. 16 around 1:45 p.m. at Ila Area of Erin-Osun, Osogbo, where the girl was living with her grandmother, Victoria John.
He explained that the girl, a twin who lost her mother at a tender age, was caught by her grandmother eating her twin brother’s food and was subsequently punished by burning her hands with hot coal.
He said the girl was taken to the Primary Healthcare Centre at Erin-Osun by some residents for treatment.
The spokesperson said the residents later reported the case to the Human Trafficking and Child Abuse Department of the corps.
He said medics that treated the girl said she needed surgery to repair the contraction on the hands.
According to him, based on the level of damage inflicted on the hand, the victim will also need a psychotherapist to help her with proper use of the hands again.
Afolabi said the grandma was presently in the custody of the NSCDC, adding that further investigation into the matter was ongoing.Read More
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