By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — House of Representatives’ Ad-Hoc Committee probing the $17 billion undeclared crude oil and liquiefued natural gas (LNG) allegedly sold by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) among other government agencies, on Monday, suffered a set back due to the absence of the agencies listed for questioning at the investigative hearing.
The probe panel constituted by the House, which commenced sitting at the Conference Room 2.31 New Wing House of Representatives National Assembly, was later adjourned due to the absence of the chief executive officers of the appearing agencies at the investigative hearing.
The investigation was sequel to a motion on the urgent need to investigate the $17 billion undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas sold by the NNPC which the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, set up the Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate.
At the commencement of the hearing, Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee Abdulrazak Namdas, stated that the Committee had invited the NNPC, Nigerian Petroleum Investment Management Service (NAPIMS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and OAGF among others to appear before it.
He further said that the investigation is part of the hydra-headed monster called corruption which the 8th National Assembly is poised to tackle.
The lawmaker also informed that the Committee had gathered useful information that would enable it tackle the issue under investigation and the rot in the oil industry.
Moreover, Dogara, who was represented by the Chief Whip, Yakubu Barde, while declaring open the public hearing, noted that the incidence of missing money in the oil industry has become a recurring decimal.
He noted that the nation had repeatedly received reports of the disappearance of over $4.4 billion trapped somewhere instead of being remitted to the federation account.
He, therefore, urged the Committee to complement governments efforts in the fight against corruption.
However, the Committee Chairman later adjourned the sitting to Tuesday, April 11, 2017 due to the absence of the Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, and Director-General, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, who were billed to make presentation at the hearing.
The lawmakers had refused to acknowledge a memoranda submitted by a representative of the CBN Governor Jack Okiteto a director in the apex bank who told the Committee that the governor and his deputy went on an impromptu, but official assignment at the State House Abuja.