The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido, on Tuesday revealed that the actual total subsidy payments on fuel imports in 2011 was N1.7trillion and not N1.43trillion as stated last week by the minister of finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
He said: “As at December, 1.7trillion naira has been paid. As bankers to the government, we have more recent figures but this is subject to reconciliation. Some marketers still have outstanding payments so it is possible there will still be payments to be made.”
The governor who was represented by the apex bank’s deputy governor, Financial System Stability, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, also told the panel that between 2006 and December 2011, the amount spent on fuel subsidy went up by more than 1200 per cent even as he faulted the secrecy and manner with which the fuel subsidy regime was being managed.
Moghalu, added in his presentation that the role of the CBN was limited and clearly defined in payment, confirmation of exchange rate, documentation and advisory role, even as he noted that the CBN had always queried the system in which fuel subsidy worked in the country.
Okonjo-Iweala, while testifying before the same committee last week, said that following the reconciliation of payments up to December 2011, the total payments on subsidy now stood at N1.4tn.
She claimed that the earlier widely quoted figure of N1.3tn represented calculations up to October 2011.
The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria also made presentations to the committee, giving government conditions that must be met before removing subsidy.
The NLC, which was represented by its Chief Economist, Mr. Peter Ozon-Eso, called for the revival of domestic refineries and to “create the environment for the establishment of new ones.”