By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-MINORITY Whip of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr Samson Osagie, Wednesday declared that Nigerians do not deserve to pay N97 per liter of fuel, saying that the fraud recently discovered by the House allegedly perpetrated by the operators of the nation’s oil industry, especially the down stream sector, was a declaration of war on Nigerians.
Osagie who is representing Uhumwonde/Orhiomnwon Federal Constituency of Edo State, vowed that the House would not rest on its oars until the Federal Government implements the recommendations made by the House as regards the reforms in the sector.
His words: “Most of the recommendations we have made are recommendations for reforms for the sector.
And some of them, those reform strategies are already being put in place. All we can say is that we will continue to monitor the implementation of those recommendations.
It will be impossible for me to predict how Nigerians and the House of Representatives that are on the same page on this matter, will react if the government refuse to listen to the voice of the people as spoken by the House of Representatives.
“The President knows how critical this sector is. For us and for most Nigerians, I believe that Nigerians have no business paying N97 for fuel given the level of corruption that we have exposed. Because what is simply happening is that the oil industry down stream sector was highly abused, a lot of theft of our resources were taken away under circumstances that were questionable.
“Imagine one of the items on the report, where from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, N999million was paid in 128 times, amounting to N127billion. These are things we can sleep over. Whether it is PPRA, whether it is the CBN or the office of the AG, for us we have said that this is what happened. We have a collective duty both Nigerians and government to find out what these payments were meant for.
“There was no evidence that such monies were paid. And we don’t have the expertise as legislators to do some of these things, that is the truth of the matter. I want to assure you that for us it was most unfair for government to wake up in the morning of that January 1, 2012 to ask Nigerians to pay for the theft of our resources that a few contractors and fuel importers and their connivers in government have done. Nigerians don’t deserve to pay N97 per liter.
“It is unfair considering the amount that we have found that had gone down the drain. In any case how much liters of fuel do we consume daily in Nigeria? Our investigation has shown that we cannot consume more than 31.5million liters per day. And whereas the NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum resources they were telling us that we were importing in the neighborhood of 50-60million a day” he stated.
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