Jonathan to NASS: Approve N162bn for subsidy or face fuel scarcity
By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—STRONG indications emerged, yesterday, that Nigerians will have a bleak festive season if the Senate and House of Representatives fail to honour the request of President Goodluck Jonathan to approve additional N161,617,364,911 for fuel subsidy.
The President also wrote to the Senate requesting for the confirmation of the appointment of some persons into the Federal Civil Service Commission.
President Jonathan, in a letter to the Senate, read by Senate President, David Mark, explained that after a forensic audit, Federal Government discovered that the provision for fuel subsidy in the 2012 budget was underestimated.
The letter read: “The distinguished Senate President will recall that as part of the 2012 budget framework, a provision of N888.1 billion was made for payment of fuel subsidy for the nation.
“I wish to intimate the distinguished Senate of the fact that following the forensic audit carried out, the provision for fuel subsidy in the 2012 budget was underestimated. As of now, the sum of N880,264,243,683:61 has been paid out, leaving a balance of N7,735,756,316. 39.
“In order to accommodate the outstanding arrears resulting from the forensic audit and remaining period of 2012, an additional N161,617, 364,911 over and above what was programmed in the 2012 framework is required.
“Given the need to maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially in the run up to the festive season, it is my hope that the distinguished senators will kindly accord this request their traditional expeditious consideration and approval.
“Accordingly, I hereby forward copies of the supplemental request for the additional payment of 2012.”
Meanwhile, while Senate President was reading the letter, senators were murmuring, an indication that the request, coming relatively late with a few days for the lawmakers to go for break, may suffer a major setback.
President Jonathan also wrote to the Senate requesting for the confirmation of the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Etolue, from Anambra State, to represent Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu in the Federal Civil Service Commission; Hope Ikiriko from Rivers State to represent Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta in the commission.
Professor Aminu Sheidu from Kogi State to represent Kogi and Kwara; Mr. Emmanuel Ihedioha from Abia to represent Imo and Abia states and Mr. Joseph Akande from Osun State to represent Osun and Oyo states in the commission.
The letter read: “The Federal Civil Service Commission is one of the Federal executive bodies established under Section 153(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“By the provision of Part 1, paragraph 10 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, the commission shall comprise a chairman and not more than 15 members.
“You may wish to note that the tenure of some members of the commission has expired. It is in this regard that I present for the Senate’s consideration and confirmation, the appointment of the following as members of the Federal Civil Service Commission for a tenure of five years, in line with the provisions of Section 154(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”