The Senate Committee on Finance has threatened to summon the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, if need be.
Senator Olamilekan Adeola, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, stated this on Wednesday during a hearing session in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The lawmakers had invited Kyari for the hearing on the proposed 2023-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).
Rather than appear in person, the NNPC boss sent representatives – an action which the lawmakers frowned at strongly.
In his reaction, Senator Adeola dismissed the representatives sent by the NNPCL boss and stated clearly that the Senate would summon him should the need arises.
He insisted that Kyari must appear before the lawmakers in person, stressing that transitioning into a limited liability company does not prevent NNPCL from being answerable to the laws of the country.
On Tuesday, the lawmakers rejected N6 trillion tax and import duties waivers in the 2023 proposed budget when the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, as well as heads of revenue generating agencies, appeared before them.
The minister had informed the committee that the N19.76 trillion proposed as the 2023 budget would have a deficit of N12.43 trillion because N6 trillion had been projected as tax and import duty waivers, while fuel subsidy would take N6 trillion.
But Senator Adeola rejected the budget proposals, saying the projected N12.43 trillion budget deficit and the N6 trillion tax and import duty waivers should be adjusted before sending the proposals to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
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He had also appealed to Ahmed to look into the list of beneficiaries of the waivers for the required downward review to N3 trillion to give room for the reduction of the N12.43 trillion deficit figure.
The lawmaker said the issue of waivers should be prioritised by relevant authorities as Nigeria does not have room for wastages and leakages.