Reps un­cover 27,000mt of kerosene dis­crep­ancy

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Musa. Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi & Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

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.

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