By Eboagwu Austine N. Monday
The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum has said it will not hesitate to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before it as the Minister of Petroleum, should the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) fail to turn up to explain on some alleged irregularities.
The committee gave the NNPC two weeks ultimatum to appear and explain alleged on the alleged irregularities in the corporation.
The ultimatum was issued by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Sarki Ada (APC-Sokoto) at a public hearing on Thursday, following the refusal of NNPC to honour invitations or reply to letters.
The committee chairman indicated that they have invited some oil companies; namely the NNPC, Addax Petroleum Company Ltd and Santex Nig Ltd, to appear before them and they have failed to show up.
“We are giving them two weeks from today. We will reschedule this meeting for two weeks calendar days, to appear before the committee so we continue our business.
He said the committee will not hesitate to invite President Buhari to appear before it as the Minister of Petroleum, if they fail to turn up.
“Buhari is the minister, he appointed himself as approved by the parliament and he is doing his job; we will invite him, and I know as a law-abiding president, he will come.
“When he comes, Nigeria should know that it is because of the failure of the NNPC to appear that made him to appear before us, “he said.
Ada said that the committee had asked for relevant documents to investigate the activities of the NNPC, and the corporation had refused to oblige the committee.
“We have written three letters to them at an interval of three months each requesting for their budget performance and list of assets they are holding and managing on behalf of Nigerians.
“We asked for a list of their liabilities, what are the contracts they are executing, who are the contractors, the companies and what is the progress made.
“We have asked for details of how much they generate from the sales of crude oil produce, how much they are managing on behalf of Nigeria through other joint ventures, until today, there is no response.
“Time has come that we must speak, this country belongs to all of us, we are here as statutory Nigerians,” he said.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, promised to deliver the message of the committee to the NNPC.