Nigeria’s Senate will investigate allegations the state oil company
illegally inflated funds it collected from an official subsidy scheme to
N5.1 trillion ($17 billion) between 2006 and 2015.
The Senate’s decision to launch an investigation followed an emergency
motion raised by Senator Dino Melaye, who told the Senate there were
possible irregularities in subsidies collected by the Nigerian National
Petroelum Corporation, NNPC from the government between 2006 and 2015 on
its 51 percent market share of fuel imports.
He did not name the source of the allegations.
NNPC was previously implicated in allegations of fraud in an investigation
in 2012 that discovered a $6.8 billion fuel subsidy scam, one of the
biggest corruption scandals in Nigeria’s history.
It was not immediately clear whether the new Senate investigation would
include the 2012 allegations or look into entirely new ones, Reuters says.
A spokesman for NNPC said the company would study any allegations if it is
“NNPC has not been formally communicated on the issues. If received, the
NNPC will study the alleged issues and respond accordingly,” the spokesman
Melaye’s motion did not specify how much of the 5.1 trillion naira
received by NNPC allegedly came from fraudulent activities. It did not
explain how the amount of 5.1 trillion naira was calculated.
The motion also alleged that the NNPC sent excess refined products to
storage owned by private individuals, which was then sold off illegally by
In the 2012 investigation, companies including NNPC were found to have
declared the same fuel import cargoes multiple times and claimed subsidies
for fuel never delivered or sold to neighbouring states.
Subsidies are a murky issue in Nigeria. The government hasn’t allocated
any money to them since 2016, but effective support remains in place,
including giving petrol importers access to dollars at very favourable