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Petroleum agency’s $11m expenditure shocks Senate panel

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Reps engage NNPC, DPR on availability, cost of kerosene
Members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) were yesterday shocked when management of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reported that it spent $9m on staff transfers in its 2016 budgetary allocation.

It also spent another $2m for maintenance of vehicles out of its 2016 budgetary allocation of $171m.

This infuriated the committee led by its Chairman, Senator Tayo Alasoadura (APC Ondo Central), who immediately demanded a breakdown of the $171m budget profile.

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But the General Manager of NAPIMS, Engineer Catherine Ngozi Ihemewho, told the committee that the annual budget of the agency was always broken into capital and operating expenditure as stated in its 2016 budget performance document forwarded to the committee.

She said out of the $171m 2016 budget, $17.7m was for capital expenditure while $154m was meant for operating expenditure from where the $9m cost of staff transfers and $2m for vehicle maintenance were taken.

When asked what she meant by staff transfers on which she spent $9m, she said: “On staff transfers, we are part of the NNPC group and sometimes you have staff transferred in and out of one subsidiary to the other with attendant payment of allowances “.

The committee ordered her to provide details of the agency’s spending of the entire $171m 2016 budget within 24 hours as against the lump sum figure presented to it.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has mandated the NNPC and Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that kerosene was made available and affordable to users.

The lawmakers said to achieve this, there was need for the Federal Government to come up with a policy on the deregulation of products as it applies to diesel and PMS to avert further scarcity.

Their resolve followed a motion by Hon. Segun Adekola (PDP Ekiti) calling on the House of Representatives to institute measures aimed at reducing the cost of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and making it readily accessible to the people.


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