Saturday 22 March 2014

Reps probe petroleum minister’s N10 Billion spent on private jet


The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution to probe an alleged expenditure of N10bn by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to charter and maintain a jet for her personal use.

The sponsor of the motion, Mr. Samuel Adejare, told the House that the minister maintained the aircraft for two years.

“In the last two years, the minister has committed at least N3.120bn in maintaining the private jet, which is used solely for her personal needs and those of her immediate family, which is an appalling act,” he said.

He alleged that other “wasteful” costs associated with the minister’s frequent trips with the jet were “currently estimated at N10bn, which include payment of allowances to the crew for trips, hanger parking and rent based on the lease agreement.”

The All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Agege Federal Constituency in Lagos State, argued that, at a time of dwindling resources, it was a “breach of public trust” and “impudence” for a government official to fly “all over the world, obviously for leisure.”

Members endorsed the motion in a unanimous voice vote and directed the Committee on Public Accounts to conduct the investigation within three weeks.

In another resolution, the House observed that the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas had not remitted revenue to the Federation Account since 2004.

It resolved that its Committee on Gas Resources should investigate the issue within three weeks as well.

A member from Kano State, Mr. Aminu Suleiman, had brought the matter before the House.

Part of Suleiman’s motion reads, “The House notes that the NLNG Bonny, in flagrant disobedience and breach of Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution has not remitted funds accruing to it to the Federation Account form 2004 till date.

“That the non-remittance of funds accruing to NLNG Bonny from 2004 till date has adversely affected the Federation Account to the detriment of Federal, States and Local Governments.

“That the unpatriotic actions of those in charge of the NLNG bonny from 2004 till date has resulted in loss of huge revenue that ought to be shared to all tiers of the government form the Federation accounts for both recurrent and capital development.

“That, the non-remittance of funds that accrued to NLNG Bonny to the Federation account from 2004till date has badly affected all critical sectors of the Nigerian economy and constitute an economic crime.”


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