Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere, on Friday, said the Committee will conduct a comprehensive audit of the petrol subsidy regime.
Ugochinyere, who spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Committee in Abuja, said the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act would also be reviewed comprehensively.
He said the Committee would legislate on energy security, professionalism in the petroleum sector, economic transformation, accountability, institutional reforms and revenue recovery and generation, with a specific goal of helping the Federal Government to make $20 billion in revenue from the sector.
The lawmaker said, “It is very important that we make this known to Nigerians that we feel the pains they are going through due to the removal of the subsidy regime. That regime (Muhammadu Buhari’s) had to go because it was corrupt and that is why the Downstream Committee of the House on Petroleum Resources would do a comprehensive audit of the PMS subsidy regime.
“We would probe the beneficiaries of the payment, and render accounts on all loan transactions, the pre-export financing arrangement and other loan arrangements. Also, other loan arrangements in exchange for crude would be extensively reviewed and investigated.
“The Direct Sales, Direct Purchase, using the crude to bring in the PMS and other value chains associated with them will also be reviewed. This Committee would be working closely with our brother committees in the upstream, mainstream, gas, Petroleum Training Fund and other petroleum-related committees to help us achieve our set objectives.
“The implementation of the PIA which has become a major concern to key stakeholders would be reviewed by this committee. What was done before the PIA? What are they doing after the PIA? The assets that used to be national assets before the coming into effect of the PIA, where are they? Who is with them? All these the committee would look into all to ensure that the intention of the PIA is achieved. One of those intentions is to ensure that there is energy security and competition in the downstream sector.”
He further said, “Today, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is the main importer of PMS. That is not the main intention of the PIA. The PIA had envisaged a situation where numerous downstream operators would have been involved in the importation of PMS. That we would also look into.
“We intend to use our legislative powers to help solve our nation’s energy problem, create healthy competition in the industry as envisaged by the PIA, create job opportunities and stabilize the forex market because if today the downstream sector is functioning very effectively, there would be no need for us to be running looking for forex to PMS, which is now creating instability in the market.”
Ugochinyere also expressed confidence in the caliber of membership of the Committee to deliver on its mandate.