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Reps dilly-dally over N450bn NNPC unremitted funds probe

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By Lawrence Olaoye

The House of Representatives appears to be undecided over what becomes of the report of its inquest into the N450 billion allegedly unremitted into the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
But there are   indications that the House may have resolved to discontinue deliberation on the matter even as the ad-hoc committee set up for the purpose has yet to submit the report at the plenary.
The House had last year commissioned its joint committee on Finance, Petroleum Upstream and Downstream and Gas to investigate the veracity of the allegations that NNPC had refused to remit N450 billion oil proceeds to the federation account, and report back to the House.
But the joint committee under the chairmanship of Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin (PDP, Kano) held a controversial public hearing which was marred by internal protests among its members in November last year.
The lawmakers had alleged that certain members of the joint committee were compromised, leading to an uproar that eventually marred the probe.
Months after the hearing nothing has been heard about the investigation as the committee has yet to lay its report at the plenary. All efforts to get Rep. Jibrin to clarify the actual position of his committee on the matter proved abortive as his GSM numbers were unreachable, and text messages sent to them were not replied up to press time last night. 
Nevertheless, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed told newsmen on Friday that the probe has been swallowed by the activities of the Ad-hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the Fuel subsidy regime led by Rep Farouk Lawan.
According to him, the investigations into the management of the subsidy by the Farouk led ad-hoc committee encapsulated the earlier investigations conducted by the Jibrin's joint committee charged with the responsibility of looking into the alleged unremitted N450 billion.

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