Lawmakers Invite Emefiele, Nami Over Subsidy Payments
Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives has invited the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, to appear before it for questioning over issues in the payment of subsidy on petroleum products from 2013 to date.
The House ad-hoc committee investigating oil subsidy payments issued the summon following failure of the duo to appear before it at the National Assembly, Abuja, yesterday.
Members of the Committee were angry that the CBN Governor could send a Deputy Director, Hussein Kagara while the FIRS chairman sent his special assistant, Gabriel Ogunjemiluri to the investigative hearing.
Moving the motion for the summon, a member of the committee, Hon. Mark said the absence Emefiele and Nami showed they were less concerned about a serious national matter like fuel subsidy payments that gulps the country the trillions of naira in a year.
Gbillah said: “N6.7 trillion in less than a year is being expended on subsidy. We could expect that the CBN Governor would come here personally to address such an issue and the FIRS chairman as well.
“I guess they believe this issue is not important enough for them to be here. So, Mr. chairman in my own opinion, I don’t think we should bother hearing any of the representatives of these two agencies that are here today. We would like the CBN Governor and FIRS Chairman to be here in person before this honourable committee of the House to address this critical issue.
Another member, Hon. Abdul Ganiyu-Olododo wondered why the FIRS Chairman would send his personal staff to appear before the parliament on such a critical issue and the CBN Governor would be represented by someone who is not even a director, saying it was an insult to Nigerians whom the lawmakers represent.
Kagara, had earlier told lawmakers that he could only answer questions relating to technical issues of subsidy payments, when the Chairman of the Adhoc committee, Hon. Ibrahim Aliyu sought his competence on the subject matter of the probe.
He also said the CBN cannot print the documents requested by the committee because they were too voluminous, adding that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has 200 accounts domiciled with the apex bank.
“In one of your requests, you asked us to produce all the accounts of NNPC that are domicile with the CBN, NNPC has close to 200 accounts with CBN and they are voluminous.”
Ruling, the Committee Chairman said both Emefiele and Nami should before the parliament unfailingly on August 18.