By Henty Umoru
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate, on resumption of plenary, would probe the claim that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, diverted the dividends from the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG, to defray the cost of under-recovery in the importation of fuel.
Saraki, while reacting to questions from newsmen at the Ilorin Airport, admitted that he received series of telephone calls on the issue from many concerned Nigerians.
He said the disclosure by the NNPC boss in response to inquiries by the Senate adhoc committee probing the illegal payment of subsidy on fuel, called for further investigation by the Senate.
His words: “Let me assure Nigerians that there will be no cover-up. We are confident that the adhoc committee will do a thorough job. All the issues will be unearthed. That is why the Senate sets up investigative committees on issues. We want Nigerians to have confidence in us because we do not act to embark on a wild goose chase. There must be serious issues to be investigated. The revelations by the NNPC GMD have justified the need for this investigation and they have shown that we are acting in good faith.
“In my ruling on the motion raised by Senator Olujimi, I insisted that we want a transparent, honest and non-partisan investigation on the fuel subsidy issue. It was clear to me and my colleagues that there are certain irregularities being perpetrated and we should let Nigerians know the truth. That is why we set up the committee to demonstrate the seriousness we attach to the issue. We decided that the adhoc committee should be led by the Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
“We are shocked that the NNPC GMD was claiming that the illegal diversion of dividends from the NLNG which should be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for the purpose of funding the fuel subsidy was done in compliance with the National Assembly directive.”