By Jude Ndukwe
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji MNSE, has directed the House Committee on NDDC, ASOPADEC and Petroleum Matters to immediately summon leaders of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Abia State Chapter, to explain reasons why its members have continued to sell petroleum products above approved prices in Abia State.
As a result, the Abia State House of Assembly Committee on NDDC, ASOPADEC and Petroleum Matters, has directed the leadership of IPMAN to appear before it tomorrow, Thursday, 16th September, 2021, at 2pm in its committee room at the Abia State House of Assembly Complex, Umuahia.
Meanwhile, chairman of the committee, Honourable Godwin Adiele, has directed petroleum marketers in the state to revert to the old price or machinery will be put in motion to visit consequences upon defaulting marketers according to the dictates of the law.
Recall that petroleum marketers have unilaterally hiked the price of petroleum products in Abia State with some filling stations selling fuel for as high as N300/N400 per litre without any notice or communication to either authorities or consumers. This has brought hardship on the people who groan under the arbitrary increase thereby causing the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji to intervene by directing that the leadership of the petroleum marketers be summoned.
Recall also that in a similar circumstance, the Abia State House of Assembly had on July 5 caused management of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, and an official of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to appear before it and explain why Abians were being denied prepaid metres and charged obnoxious bills under the guise of estimated billing system. Shortly after that summon to the EEDC by the Assembly, the Electricity Distribution company commenced the immediate installation of prepaid metres to households in the state with a commitment to ensure that about 10,000 to 15,000 households would be covered before the end of 2021.
The Abia Assembly resolved to invite the company again to assess the level of coverage and compliance with its resolutions on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Abia State House Committee on Public Accounts, Due Process and Anti Corruption has continued to grill some Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state over the state’s 2020 Audit Report.
The MDAs that appeared before the Committee today are the Ministry of Industry, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) and the Abia State Open Spaces Development Commission.
Chairman of the committee, Hon Jerry Uzosike who expressed reservations about the level of compliance by some of the MDAs to the 2020 budget said the exercise will continue until all concerned MDAs appear before the committee.
Other members of the committee present were: Hon Paul Tharibo, Hon Abraham Oba, Hon Godwin Adiele and Hon Emmanuel Ndubuisi.