ABUJA, March 1 Nigeria's upper house of
parliament will investigate allegations the state oil company
illegally inflated funds it collected from an official subsidy
scheme to 5.1 trillion naira ($17 billion) between 2006 and
2015, lawmakers said on Wednesday.
The Senate's decision to launch an investigation followed an
emergency motion raised by Senator Dino Melaye, who told the
Senate there were possible irregularities in subsidies collected
by NNPC from the government between 2006 and 2015 on its 51
percent market share of fuel imports.
He did not name the source of the allegations.
NNPC was previously implicated in allegations of fraud in an
investigation in 2012 that discovered a $6.8 billion fuel
subsidy scam, one of the biggest corruption scandals in
It was not immediately clear whether the new Senate
investigation would include the 2012 allegations or look into
entirely new ones.
A spokesman for NNPC said the company would study any
allegations if it is formally notified.
"NNPC has not been formally communicated on the issues. If
received, the NNPC will study the alleged issues and respond
accordingly," the spokesman said.
Melaye's motion did not specify how much of the 5.1 trillion
naira received by NNPC allegedly came from fraudulent
activities. It did not explain how the amount of 5.1 trillion
naira was calculated.
The motion also alleged that the NNPC sent excess refined
products to storage owned by private individuals, which was then
sold off illegally by those owners.
In the 2012 investigation, companies including NNPC were
found to have declared the same fuel import cargoes multiple
times and claimed subsidies for fuel never delivered or sold to
Subsidies are a murky issue in Nigeria. The government
hasn't allocated any money to them since 2016, but effective
support remains in place, including giving petrol importers
access to dollars at very favourable rates.
($1 = 305.0000 naira)
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Additional reporting by Libby
George in London and Paul Carsten in Abuja; Writing by Alexis
Akwagyiram; Editing by Susan Fenton)