By Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs
Senate: No Request from Presidency on Payment to Oil Marketers.
The attention of the Senate has been drawn to a claim said to have been made by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, during a meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry on the perrenial fuel scarcity in the country to the effect that the payment of debt owed to oil marketters was being delayed because the National Assembly has not approved request presented to the legislature for loan meant for that purpose.
The Senate would want members of the public to know that no such request has been made to it specifically requesting for loan meant for payment to oil marketers.
The Senate is aware that subsidy on petroleum had been cancelled by this administration; so we wonder which payment we are talking about now.
Senators have been inundated with calls from oil marketers who were present at the meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President on the issue and thus, we call on Mallam Kyari to either prove his claim or retract it.
It should be noted that a similar claim was made by the Minister of Finance on the foreign loan at a time the Presidency had not forwarded the request. The letter requesting for the foreign loan was submitted long after she was confronted with the fact.
It is the opinion of the Senate that instead of resorting to false claims and shifting blames in the mould of ‘ Blame Someone Else’, both the executive and legislature should work together to solve this unecessary fuel crisis which is making life more difficult for our people.
That is why members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) were mandated by the Senate President to suspend their recess and embark on ovesight visits to key areas in the sector while it would tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 4th) hold an investigative public hearing with all stakeholders aimed at finding solution to the problem of fuel scarcity.