Nigeria's Senate deepens fuel subsidy probe


[File] Senate President Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE

Nigeria’s Senate said Tuesday it was investigating claims that the state oil company illegally took more than $1 billion from natural gas proceeds to fund fuel subsidy payments.

Despite being Africa’s largest crude producer, Nigeria relies on fuel imports to meet domestic demand because of its dilapidated refineries.

The imported petrol is subsidised by the government in an increasingly opaque scheme that has been described as a sprawling web of patronage and mismanagement.

In October, the Senate said it was probing spending by the National Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of some $3.5 billion in import subsidies which were not approved by parliament.

“An adhoc committee was set up to investigate the $3.5…

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