The absence of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, NNPC and Pipeline, Products Marketing Company (PPMC), on Monday stalled a probe on kerosene subsidy.
The hearing was at the instance of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the house through a resolution mandated the committee to investigate issues surrounding kerosene supply, distribution and subsidy payments from the year 2010 to 2013.
The announcement by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Dakuku Peterside, for the postponement came after a long wait by stakeholders who were seated before 10 a.m.
Peterside said that the committee was compelled to postpone the hearing due to the absence of officials of the three agencies which were critical stakeholders in the investigation.
“It is not in the character of the seventh National Assembly to waste people’s time.
“On behalf of the committee, I want to apologise to you, we are going to be compelled by circumstances to put off this hearing to the Feb. 18.
“We owe you a duty to carry out the investigation, we will not let you down, we want to apologise once more, we will move on with the hearing on Feb. 18.
He explained that several invitation letters were written to the agencies and ministry about the hearing, but they did not responded till the day of the hearing.
The letters partly reads: “I wish to inform you that the Honourable Minister together with the top management of the ministry and its agencies will be participating in the International Summit on Power Financing starting today, 10th February, 2014.
“As a result, we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation. We are also currently engaged with the Senate Committee on Finance and it is not clear when their hearing will end.’’
NNPC in a letter signed by its General Manager, National Assembly Liaison, Mr M.B Bamanga, and dated Feb. 7 gave the same excuse.
“I am further directed to appeal to the Chairman to allow NNPC and its subsidiary sufficient time to collate the required documents and reschedule an alternate date for the appearance of our organisation at the hearing, please,’’ the letter reads.
The PPMC’s letter dated Feb. 7 and signed by the Executive Director, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, also followed the same format.
In an interview with NAN, Mr Obafemi Olawore, Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, expressed disappointment over the postponement of the hearing.
“We flew down to Abuja on Sunday so that we will not have any filth delay this morning, personally I got here quarter to 10 this morning.
“I have wasted the whole of today, wasted hotel accommodation, flight and I have to now go to Lagos,’’ Olawore said. (NAN)
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