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Presidency making ‘false claims’, we’ve not received any subsidy payment request, Senate fumes



Civilians should never be targets of violence, says Saraki

The Senate has reacted to an alleged claim by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, that the National Assembly was responsible for the delay in the payment of subsidy owed oil marketers by the Federal Government, labelling it “false claims”.

The lawmakers said there was no pending request to approve a loan for subsidy payment by the Presidency.

The Senate disclosed this on Wednesday night through a statement issued by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi.

The statement read, “The attention of the Senate has been drawn to a claim said to have been made by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, during a meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry on the perennial fuel scarcity in the country, to the effect that the payment of debt owed oil marketers was being delayed because the National Assembly has not approved request presented to the legislature for loan meant for that purpose.

“The Senate want members of the public to know that no such request has been made to it specifically requesting loan meant for payment to oil marketers.

Read also: FUEL SCARCITY: Kachikwu disagrees with NNPC, DPR, says marketers not to blame

“The Senate is aware that subsidy on petroleum has 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,’ both the executive and legislature should work together to solve this unnecessary fuel crisis which is making life more difficult for our people.”

The Senate said it was the reason members of Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) were mandated to suspend their recess and embark on oversight visits to key areas in the sector, while it would, tomorrow (Thursday), hold an investigative public hearing with all stakeholders, aimed at finding solution to the fuel scarcity.


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