By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, has commended the investigation undertaken by the House of Representatives into the utilisation of petroleum subsidies saying it would go a long way in supporting the Federal Government’s own war against corruption in the sector.
Senator Emodi in a chat with Vanguard, Sunday, said the executive and the legislative arms of government were on the same page on the issue and would collaborate towards ensuring that the rot in the sector was fully addressed. She especially noted that the issues that led to the investigations predated the ascent of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Senator Emodi spoke against the background of claims in some quarters of discomfort in the administration over the recommendations of the House ad-hoc committee on the utilization of petroleum subsidies.
In its report tabled last week, the House panel had recommended that a number of companies found culpable should be made to refund up to N1 trillion while a couple of others were recommended for sanctioning.
The recommendations of the panel had generated some adverse comments for the administration with insinuations of culpability by top officials of the administration.
Noting that that was the contrary, Senator Emodi said that President Goodluck Jonathan had early in his stewardship of the country directed an investigation into the affairs of the petroleum sector. She said that investigation spearheaded by the erstwhile Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga was, however, overtaken by the more comprehensive industry-wide investigation spear-headed by the erstwhile Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
She said: “You would realise that when the President came on board he was faced with these issues and he directed an investigation into the petroleum sector to be conducted by the then Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga. He sharpened this last January with his approval to the Minister of Petroleum to set up an industry wide investigation of the sector last January to be led by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
“The President’s sincere desire of enthroning probity was clearly manifested by his choice of men of integrity to be involved and he did not mind crossing the partisan barrier to get his opponent in the presidential election to lead the investigation.
“So, it is not surprising that the President should welcome what the House members have done and he is on the same page on the issues.”