The Senate says it is investigating the whereabouts of N500 billion Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) cash, which ought to have been released to SURE-P for the implementation of its projects.
A member of the Senate Committee on SURE-P, Senator Kabiru Marafa, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja at a meeting with Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Marafa noted that the committee wrote the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, requesting the quantity of fuel it supplied for consumption since the inception of SURE-P in 2012, which was 21 months (January 2012 to 30th September 2013.), adding that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources responded that 25 billion litres of PMS (fuel) was supplied.
He said since N32 was SURE-P’s component of oil subsidy, the committee multiplied 25 billion litres of PMS the ministry supplied by N32, which gave about N800 billion.
The lawmaker added that the leadership of SURE-P had at a meeting with the Senate Committee put the total money released for its activities at N300 billion.
He said SURE-P also told the Committee that it received N15 billion monthly for its activities.
“Since SURE-P claimed that it received a total of N300 billion, it means that N500 billion that should have accrued to SURE-P is missing. We are curious to know what happened to the N500 billion. We also want to know why CBN has been remitting N15 billion to SURE-P monthly. This is because the releases to SURE-P should have varied according to PMS consumption, but we hear that N15 billion is remitted to SURE-P monthly” Marafa said
A letter by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources gave the breakdown of national monthly consumption of petrol(PMS) from the inception of SURE-P to 30th September, 2013 as:
January 2012-1,300,250,896; February 2012- 1,565,615,315; March 2012- 2,002,664,178; April 2012-2,068,580,537; May 2012- 1,66,365,783; June 2012-1,374,735,096, July 2012- 1,499,580,516; August 2012- 1,201,378,428; September 2012- 954,263,951; October 2012- 1,173,436,515; November 2012- 1,286,305,205; and December 2012- 1,447,080,385.
For 2013, the Petroleum Ministry gave the breakdown of national PMS consumption as: January 2013- 1,109,808,171; February 2013- 941,177,731; March 2013- 1,056,091,918; April 2013- 1,027,298,978; May 2013- 1,088,157,472; June 2013- 798,911,153; July 2013-899,593,874; August 2013- 843,882,415 and September 2013- 770,695,645.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Abdul Ningi and other members condemned the absence of Mrs Alison-Madueke and Sanusi at the meeting, after acknowledging receipt of the committee’s invitation.
Though the CBN governor later sent some officers to apologise for his inability to honour the invitation, Ningi said that the apology was unacceptable.
He said because NNPC was key to the implementation of SURE-P, the committee wanted the Petroleum Minister to appear to clarify certain issues.
The lawmaker noted that because the CBN was the disbursing body, the CBN Governor was also crucial to the meeting.
A member of the committee, Senator Solomon Ganiyu, said that members of the committee wanted to know how funds made available to SURE-P was used.
Ganiyu added that it was obvious that most Nigerians were not happy with the implementation of SURE-P.