By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement has alleged that the sum of $163.750 million which was paid to Pre-shipment Inspection Agents (PIAs) for the shipment of Nigerian crude oil was paid without appropriation.
At the continuation of its investigative hearing yesterday, the Committee on Public Procurement threatened to invoke the constitutional provisions on those responsible for the action while citing Sections 80 and 81 of the constitution, which prohibits any government agency from spending any money without recourse to the National Assembly.
However, the representative of the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Dauda, maintained that the said amount was from fee collection for industry fund, which is not usually captured in the budget.
Dauda noted that every operator in the oil industry has a legal obligation to contribute certain percentage to the fund for the pre-shipment activities to take place.
On his part, the chief operating officer (COO) of National Petroleum Investment and Management Service (NAPIMS), Mal. Bello Rabiu, informed the lawmakers that NNPC as a member of the pre-ship technical committee, does not partake in pre-qualification and selection process of PIAs.