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Senate Raises Subsidy Budget To N521bn

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The Senate on Monday directed the Federal Ministries of Petroleum Resources, Budget and National Planning and Finance, to increase the N413 billion subsidy budget it submitted to the upper chamber last week to N521 billion.

The Senate Committee on Appropriation, while issuing the directive, said that the additional N108 billion is meant for fuel subsidy in the last quarter of 2015, as it was not captured in the supplementary budget submitted to the Senate last week.

The N413 billion subsidy was meant for the period of January to September.

With additional N108 billion, the supplementary budget before the National Assembly now stands at N573 billion.

The committee also asked the ministry of petroleum resources to furnish it with details of the N437bn which had so far been paid to NNPC as its subsidy claims but which was not appropriated by the National Assembly.

At the meeting with the ministers and heads of federal government agencies, chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, noted that intelligent reports at the disposal of the panel indicated that the petroleum ministry was seeking approval for N413bn out of the total N950bn accrued subsidy.

According to Goje, while the ministry had paid the subsidy due to NNPC as first line charge being its own share of the 48 per cent of the fuel it imported, the subsidy due to the oil marketers, were withheld.

He said the inclusion of the N108bn, would enable the senate to approve the money so that the minds of Nigerians would be at rest that the oil marketers would not hold the nation to ransom again during the forthcoming festive season as a result of the outstanding amount.