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Reps probes PPPRA for alleged N1.343 trillion fraud

The House of Representatives Wednesday mandated its committee on petroleum resources (downstream) to investigate allegations of alleged withholding of N1.343 trillion internally generated revenue by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

The decision was taken yesterday following the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) and Hon. Julius Ihonvbere (PDP, Edo) on “the need to investigate the N1.343 unremitted revenue by the PPPRA”.

Leading debate on the motion, Ihonvbere informed that the PPPRA is alleged to have withheld N1.343 trillion IGR, which is statutorily supposed to be paid into the consolidated revenue account (CRA) of the Federal Government.

He said the allegations against the PPPRA for withholding the IGR and not remitting same into the account, which is domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is in contravention of Section 162(1) of 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The lawmaker recalled that the director-general of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akubueze, had at a meeting with the chief executive officers (CEO) of government-owned enterprises (GOEs), disclosed that PPPRA has allegedly withheld unremitted operating surplus amounting to over N1.343 trillion.

 “Cognisant of the fact that the alleged N1.343 trillion unremitted revenue by PPPRA was collected as part of its internally generated revenue (IGR), thereby constituting a breach of the public accounting principle and the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government.

“Concerned that this allegation is not only grave, but worthy of investigation by the House, especially in the face of the paucity of funds and economic crunch the government is currently passing through,” Ihonvbere stated.