Muhammadu Buhari President-elect to probe fuel subsidy regime, massive fraud suspected

A close source to Buhari’s camp said the President-elect does not want to waste public funds on endless probes, knowing he has limited time to impact positively on the Nation.

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Muhammadu Buhari

(Newsaround24)
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The administration of Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly getting ready to revisit the reports of National Assembly panels, set up to investigate various financial scandals in Federal Government’s agencies and ministries.

According to Saturday Punch, the top three reports being given priority are fuel subsidy, the N255m bulletproof cars scam probes by the House of Representatives and pension scandal investigation by the Senate.

A close source to Buhari’s camp told the newspaper that the President-elect does not want to waste public funds on endless probes, knowing he has limited time to impact positively on the Nation, which informed his decision not to embark on fresh probes, but review reports and recommendations of 'compelling' cases handled by the National Assembly.

Report says Buhari’s intention to take another look at the missing $20bn is an indication that his administration is strong-willed on retrieving illegally held public funds.

Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, who is a one-time Central Bank Governor, had alleged that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not account for the sum of $20 billion meant to be remitted into the Federal Account.

A key member of the All Progressives Congress also told Saturday Punch anonymously that the current fuel scarcity in the country would necessitate Buhari administration to probe the fuel subsidy regime.

 “For now, we have decided not to comment on the issues of probes so as not to heat up the transition, but what I can tell you is that we will not encourage the culture of impunity.

“With the fuel scarcity in many parts of the country, the report of the House of Representatives investigation will be among those to be examined. We suspect that there is massive fraud in the fuel subsidy,” he said.

He added, “If you recall, during the campaigns, any time he (Buhari) accused the outgoing administration of corrupt tendencies, he made reference to recommendations contained in reports which he said, the Jonathan administration, has shown a lack of political will to implement.

“What you are likely to see happening is a revisit of investigations into scandals such as the missing $20bn, the pension funds and the fuel subsidy. Where reports recommend that individuals refund public funds, these funds must be refunded.

“Where they recommend that individuals or institutions be prosecuted, that will be done.

“The anti-graft agencies will be repositioned to perform the functions for which they were established. It is certainly not going to be business as usual.”

On how the administration intends to fight corruption, the APC source said, “first and foremost, we will plug the holes in the budgetary process. Revenue producing entities such as NNPC and Customs and Excise will have one set of books only.

“Their revenues will be publicly disclosed and regularly audited. The institutions of state dedicated to fighting corruption will be given independence and prosecutorial authority without political interference.”

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