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N59.6bn subsidy: Again, Reps summon AGF, NNPC, others

‎The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Sarah Alade, in connection with the N59.6bn fuel subsidy said to have been withdrawn from the Service Wide Vote in 2006.

The money was meant for the payment of subsidy claims due to the NNPC.

However, the NNPC, the Budget Office and the CBN have been passing bulk over the matter before the committee.

While the budget office claims that the money was released from the service wide vote, the oil corporation denies receiving it.

In a bid to get to the bottom of the issue, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, called for all documents linked with the transaction to be presented to the committee on Wednesday.

“If there was any mandate on the said missing N59.6bn, it will show at a glance.

“We are tired of all the excuses of all the agencies involved, claiming ignorant at one stage or the other”, Olamilekan said.

There was a mild drama at the committee’s sitting on Tuesday when NNPC’s General Manager, Accounts, Mr. Sambo Aliyu, tendered a letter written by the budget office, indicating that the corporation was paid the money.

He told the committee that the budget office wrote the letter in response to a request by the corporation asking it to confirm whether the money was paid.

‎Olamilekan asked whether the money was indeed paid to the NNPC as indicated in the letter, Aliyu replied, “The cash was not released, we did not see any money. ”

The representative of the CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, also gave a similar answer when he was to comment on the issue.

He said, “We will need to get the mandates from the AGF.”

The comments of the two officials angered committee members, who observed that government agencies were taking the House for a ride.

The committee summoned all the agencies for the fourth time to appear over the N59.6bn today.

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