The Senate has called on President Bola Tinubu to establish three functional refineries for local production and distribution of refined oil.
This the red chamber noted will cushion the price of petrol pump price and also benefit the masses.
The decision was reached following a motion sponsored by the Senator representing Imo North Senatorial District Chiwuba Ndubueze, an All-Progressives Congress member, entitled, “Need to Investigate the controversial Huge Expenditure on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) under the subsidy/under-recovery regime by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).”
Meanwhile, the Senate lauded Tinubu’s efforts for removing fuel subsidy but added that it will probe payments made as oil subsidy and under-recovery by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
The chamber also rejected the N9.3 trillion which the Buhari-led administration claimed it spent on the subsidy regime from January 2021 to May 29, 2023.
In his motion, Ndubueze noted that within 10 years (2006 – 2015), the federal government spent N170 billion under-recovery through the NNPCL.
But he questioned how the Buhari administration had managed to spend N843.121 billion between January 2018 and January 2019 on under-recovery
The Senator said, “Very worrisome is the expenses made on subsidy/ under-recovery by NNPCL during the period under review, particularly from January 2021 to June 2023, when it claimed it spent N9.3 trillion.
“The money as shown by available records shows that in 2021, N1.42 trillion was expended; in 2022, it was N4.3 trillion and in the first six months of 2023, N3.6 trillion was spent, totalling, N9.3 trillion.”
In their varied comments throughout the motion’s debate, the majority of the senators expressed disapproval of NNPCL’s fictitious claims about its subsidy program
In his comment, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, stated that its standing committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Petroleum (Upstream) and Finance, into all the issues involving subsidies and the under-recovery regime when they are established.
It also advised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPCL) to organize three distinct consortiums and construct three refineries in order to stabilize the oil market and the country’s economy as a whole.