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Reps threaten to arrest PPPRA Executive Secretary over alleged N13 billion fraud

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The House of Representatives Tuesday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest for the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPRA) Tony Okonkwo if he failed to honour its invitation for the third time on March 30th, over allegations of not remitting N13 billion revenue from 2014 to 2019.

Chairman of House Committee on Finance,  James Faleke issued the threat after his Committee, investigating the non-remittance of funds to the Federation Account by Federal agencies sent away officials from the agency who represented their Boss.

The House Committee on Finance had  early last month threatened to effect the removal of the General Manager of Finance at PPPRA over alleged diversion of over N13billion of funds generated from operations of the agency in 2014.

The Agency’s General Manager of Finance, Peter Joshua who represented the Executive Secretary told the Committee that in the year 2014 PPPRA generated only N2.8billion even though, lawmakers, it made about N13billion from 15k on every litre, deducted from sales of petroleum products.

But Joshua insisted that what the agency received from the actual revenue generated, was only N2.8billion, with a balance of over 11billion still with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and other marketers of petroleum products.

The Committee members all agreed that for his shoddy management of the finances due to government, he should be sanctioned as they lamented how  PPPRA shortchanged the government and people of the country for years.

The investigative meeting with the agency revealed that in 2014 alone, PPPRA was to pay as revenue the sum of N501. 2 million to the consolidated revenue account, which it declined and it also defaulted in subsequent years from 2015 till date.

The Committee argued that even if the 501million was a “constant”as revenue from PPPRA within the period under review, then it would have shortchanged government to the tune of over N2 billion.

The Committee then summoned the Executive Secretary to appear on February 24, with statements of account, outstanding indebtedness, annual budgets from 2011 till date and copies of all reconciliation with NNPC as well as all the contracts awarded and  names of contractors and details which he failed to do so.

 

James Kwen, Abuja