Reps to audit petrol subsidy regime

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The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), says it plans to conduct a comprehensive audit of the subsidy regime of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country.

Rep. Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere, the Chairman, said this at the committee’s inauguration in Abuja on Friday. He said that the committee’s legislative priorities included ensuring energy security, enhancing professionalism in the petroleum sector and driving economic transformation.

Others, he said, included fostering accountability, institutional reforms, and focusing on revenue recovery and generation.

‘‘The committee’s specific objective is to assist the Federal Government in recovering the 20 billion dollars in revenue lost in the sector. He said the committee would also prioritise early remittance of federal revenues and the recovery of unremitted funds in the coming days.

Ugochinyere emphasised the importance of addressing the challenges faced by Nigerians due to the removal of the subsidy on petrol.

He said the committee also plans to probe the subsidy beneficiaries, scrutinise loan transactions and pre-export financing arrangements, and to review loans related to crude oil.

The lawmaker said the committee would examine the direct sales, and direct purchase method, which he said involved using crude for importing refined petrol and other associated value chains.

He said the committee would collaborate with other relevant committees in the upstream, mainstream, gas, and petroleum training fund sectors to achieve its objectives.

In reviewing the PIA, he said the committee plans to assess the actions taken before and after its implementation, the status of national assets, and the achievement of energy security.

He also said the committee would examine competition in the downstream sector, as originally intended in the PIA. Ugochinyere said that the committee would also address the issue of NNPCL being the primary petrol importer, contrary to the PIA’s vision of diverse downstream operators.

He said the committee would address the challenges related to domestic crude supply for modular refineries and local refineries, which is a constitutional provision under the PIA. ‘’The committee will also ensure adequate supply of domestic crude to achieve energy security,’’ he said.

Ugochinyere expressed confidence in the committee’s ability to fulfil its mandate and urged stakeholders in the petroleum sector to cooperate in the discharge of its functions and embrace positive changes.

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