Reps uncover 27,000mt of kerosene discrepancy
The two-month-old public hearing on the kerosene subsidy expenditures by the House of Representatives committee will climax today, as the committee uncovered discrepancies of vessel discharge of the product at the twilight of its investigation.
The committee on petroleum (downstream), which started its 3-day public hearing investigation in February, had thus far unravelled a number of issues relating to the controversial 2009 presidential order banning subsidy on kerosene.
But at yesterday’s hearing, the committee chairman, Rep Dakuku Peterside (APC, Rivers) said there is a document obtained by the committee which revealed how a kerosene (DPK) vessel’s papers indicated it shipped in 37000 metric tonnes of DPK, only for the actual discharge volume to be just 10000 metric tonnes.
Subsequently, the committee directed one of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) contracted cargo inspection companies, General Marine and Oil Services Limited (GMO) to furnish it with all documents showing similar vessel discharge discrepancies within the 2011-2013 period under investigation.
Representative of GMO, Sam Obasi, had earlier told the committee that his company is just one out of a number of vessel surveyors of the PPMC, and has been able to superintend a total of 106 import vessels within the 2011-2013 period.
Obasi said GMO’s standing contract with PPMC allows them to inspect vessels on only two areas of Lagos offshore and Apapa JT, which resulted to the oversee of 458 trans-shipment of mother vessel to marketers within the said period.
The committee’s chairman also pointed another discovery where instances of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) importation revealed that it was actually DPK that was discharged by vessels.
He asked the GMO representatives about the quality differences between ATK, and DPK that necessitated the deliberate misrepresentation of the two products at the inspection point.
Obasi clarified that DPK has more qualitative than ATK, and therefore the DPK would be heavier than ATK.
Meanwhile, the committee has advised other invited agencies yet to appear before it to do so and defend themselves today, as the investigation climaxes.
NNPC group managing director, PPMC managing director, office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) as well as Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are among the agencies expected to appear today for their presentation about the probe.
Rep Peterside said the committee is ready to assist such agencies, but could not do so if they refused to appear before it to defend themselves.