The Senate has resolved to investigate the use of the $3.5 billion budget recovery fund for subsidy by the Managing Director and the Executive Director of Finance of the Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC).
In a point of order raised by Minority leader, Abiodun Olujimi on Tuesday, she queried the decision, noting that the amount is too huge to be managed “without appropriation and recourse to any known law of the land”.
She continued, “This fund is too huge for two people to manage. Right now Mr President the $3.5 billion is managed by just two and this is too huge to be managed without appropriation without any recourse to any known law of the land”.
She also added, “During your remarks after the passage of the budget, you mentioned that there should be a budget for subsidy. That should be brought before the national assembly. By the report, it is almost certain that the $3.5 billion in slush funds being managed by two individuals and that is not correct.
“I urge the Senate to cause the downstream committee to invite the NNPC to explain why it should be so and what has happened to the funds that have been used so far and the new term recovery instead of subsidy approval”.
Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) urged the chamber to create an ad hoc committee instead in order to avoid partisanship.
He said, “I don’t want to be hard on the committee. I think the committee has the responsibility of oversight because when this happens they are supposed to know. Senator Marafa being chairman of the committee should be out of this. The Senate leader and other members should look at this thing objectively.
“When you have a large amount of money stacked somewhere, it calls for caution. I’m suggesting as distinguished senator Bukar Abba said – not me – that the committee might have compromised”.