Fuel Consumption: Reps threaten sanction against MDAs over absence at probe



An Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives conducting a probe into the actual daily consumption of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), fumes over the continued absence of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at its investigative hearing

The House of Representatives on Thursday threatened sanctions against Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government over their failure to honour a panel hearing on the volume of fuel consumed daily in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Adhoc Committee Investigating the ‘Volume of Fuel Consumed Daily in Nigeria, Abdulkadir Abdullahi (APC, Bauchi) issued the threat at the resumed hearing of the panel while engaging with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Nigerian Navy in the National Assembly.

Abdullahi regretted that out of 18 agencies expected at the hearing, only two appeared before the committee, conducting an investigative hearing on the need to ascertain the actual daily consumption of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria.

He explained that the panel will leave no stone unturned in ascertaining the rate of fuel consumption in Nigeria daily and directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the concerned agencies for the last time.

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“I want to express my disappointment in some of the MDAs we have because this is a very important responsibility as far as the House of Representatives is concerned.

We are all elected from our various constituencies, representing various states and local governments and like we said earlier, the issue of consumption of petroleum products especially PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) is a very sensitive issue in this country and it has far-reaching implications on the fiscal federalism of this country.

So we expect government agencies to cooperate with us to give us information,  to give us data that we asked so that we synthesise all this and make analysis and come of with a fair view and position of the volume consumed in the country which will invariably give light as to the amount of money needed to subsidise this product but unfortunately most of the key players in the industry have been avoiding appearing before this committee,” he said.

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“And let me sound a note of warning that this committee and indeed the House of Representatives will leave no stone unturned and there is no agency that is above the law. Let them understand that they can only delay their appearance before this committee but they cannot escape the tentacles of this committee and the House of Representatives as far as this investigative hearing is concerned.

So, it is better for them to appear before this committee and lay their submissions and give us the data that is required for the exercise, for the mandate of this committee to be actualised.

I want to use this medium to draw attention that we expect them to be civil organisations of government and cooperate in this very important legislative responsibility.

So, Mr Clerk, all the governmental agencies including the ones that sent in letters asking for an extension, you write them to get a date for them preferably the second week of August and fix a date for another hearing and give them a last warning, failure to appear will attract unpalatable consequences from the committee and the House,” he added.

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The Nigerian Navy in its presentation told the committee that a total of 202.9 million metric tons of fuel were imported into the country from 2015 to 2022 just as 12.3 million metric tons were imported from January to July 2022.

“As to the amount of the PMS that is imported, from our records, from 2015 to July 2022, total quantity of PMS imported from all sources, NNPC, PPMC, OMTC into Nigeria amounts to 202.9 million metric tons and for the first 7 months of 2022 so far, from our records 12.3 million metric tons of PMS have been imported,” the Chief of Naval Staff, Anwar Gambo represented at the hearing by Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire said.

“From January 2017 to July 2022, we have arrested 174 vessels, for various offences and the details are in the letter forwarded to you. Regards the NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Company) Limit, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) letter, between 2020 and 2022, we were able to get 4676 letters and so far in 2022,” he added.

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Asked if there were litigations arising from confiscation of product, Oluwagbire said there was none of such with the Petrol Motor Spirit (PMS).

He added that seizures were handed over to either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) depending on the nature of the seizures.

“We hand over to EFCC or the Civil Defence depending on the offence. The records are in the submission,” he said.

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