The House of Representatives on Wednesday make case for subsidy payment in the 2018 appropriation bill for the petroleum product.
This is just as the House summoned Minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachukwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Baru Makanti as well as Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Abdulkadir Umar to appear before the House Committee on Finance and Petroleum Downstream and explain current subsidy payment since January 2017 till date and the current petroleum pricing regime.
The House also resolved that the current Federal Executive should make provision for subsidy payment in the 2018 appropriation bill, should it deem it fit to continue subsidy payment under any guise whatsoever.
The House resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Honourable Karimi Sunday, “urgent need to investigate the fuel subsidy payment by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC”.
In his lead debate, Hon Karimi said between January to December the Federal Government through the NNPC claimed to have spent over N300billion on payment of subsidy for PMS, when there was no provision for subsidy payment in the 2017 Appropriation Act.
According to him, Section 80(4) of the 1999 constitution as amended stipulates that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the federation, without the approval of the National Assembly.
He added the payment of subsidy last year by the NNPC without the consent of the federal legislature,no matter intention, was illegal and unconstitutional, stressing that ” It is an impeachable offence. We cannot keep quiet.The executive cannot decide which part of the constitution to obey and which to ignore.”
Meanwhile, another member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House Honourable Odebunmi Olusegun, defected to the All Progressives Congress( APC).
Olusegun in a letter read on the floor of the House before the commencement of the day’s business said his defection to the ruling party is in compliance with the wishes of his constituents.
He noted that his former party is currently in “crisis”.
Speaking on Point of Order, a PDP lawmaker, Hon Betty Apiah said it is not true that the opposition party is in crisis, noting that the party would challenge the defection in court.