Senate declared, yesterday, that the Presidency is deliberately peddling falsehood regarding a request to pay oil marketers.
Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, had, during a meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry, on Tuesday, on the perennial fuel scarcity in the country, blamed scarcity of petrol on the failure of the Senate to approve a loan request submitted to it by the Executive, for the payment of debts owed oil marketers
Yesterday, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, in a statement, said the upper legislative chamber never received any request from the presidency.
“Senate will want the public to know that no such request has been made to it; specifically requesting for loan meant for payment to oil marketers. 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 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,’ the Executive and Legislature should work together to solve this unecessary fuel crisis which is making life more difficult for our people.”
He added that members of the Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) were mandated to suspend their recess and embark on oversight visits to key areas in the sector. The committee will, today, conduct a public hearing with all stakeholders, aimed at finding solution to the problem of fuel scarcity in the country.
Three days ago, the committee blamed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and marketers over short supply of petrol. Committee Chairman, Kabiru Marafa, in company with a member of the committee, stated this on Monday, in Gusau, during an oversight assignment in Zamfara, on the fuel situation.