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Subsidy probe: Reps ask navy to provide details of vessels lifting petrol from 2017 

Subsidy probe: Reps ask navy to provide details of vessels lifting petrol from 2017 
July 29
10:57 2022

A house of representatives committee has asked the Nigerian navy to provide details of vessels used in importing and exporting petrol from 2007 to date.

The ad hoc committee investigating the petroleum products subsidy regime from 2017 to 2022, made the demand during its sitting on Thursday.

The committee was set up by the lower parliament in June following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Sergius Ogun, a lawmaker from Ogun state.

At its resumed hearing on Thursday, lawmakers demanded that Awwal Gambo, chief of naval staff, represented by Emmanuel Ogaula, a rear admiral, brief the committee on the number of vessels that transported petrol in and out of the country. 

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But Ogaula said the navy only records information provided to them by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC). 

“It is the information passed to the Nigerian navy by the NNPC that we record in our file,” he said. 

“Sometimes NNPC might pass information and we record it and at the end of the day some of them are cancelled, some are not. The information we have which we have passed to you is the information sent by NNPC,” he said.

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The response, however, incensed the committee’s members.

Benjamin Kalu, spokesman of the house, the navy should keep an “independent” record of the vessels moving crude into and out of the nation, 

“We leave waterways under your care, therefore independent of what NNPC does, it is your mandate,” he said. 

“To say you only rely on what is coming from NNPC does not inspire confidence in Nigerians who allow you to monitor what comes into the country. I know the navy has a record of every tanker coming or going out that has products that have to do with oil and gas.”

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Mark Gbillah, said the navy is not executing its functions effectively. 

“On behalf of Nigerians, we are taken aback by your response on such a monumental issue,” he said. 

“Is the navy telling us today with regards to the inflow of vessels and vessels leaving this country, with regards to specific issues that pertain to the NNPC, you rely only on NNPC’s information? So where then is the role of the Navy?”

In his ruling, Ibrahim Aliyu, chairman of the committee, gave the navy one week to provide relevant documents to the committee to aid its investigation.

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Additionally, the navy is required to provide information regarding the owners of the vessels, the importers, exporters, delivery ports, and the quantity of goods involved in each transaction.

The navy is also expected to submit information about the number of vessels that were detained, the organisations that received them, their contents, and their current whereabouts.

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