Nigeria: Federal Govt Will Recover Excess Subsidy Payments Made In 2011 – Okonjo-Iweala

Okonjo-Iweala Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Saturday said the Federal Government would recover the excess subsidy payments made to oil marketers in 2011.

According to her, the excess subsidy payments would be recovered as soon as the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede committee completes its assignment of reviewing oil marketers and all subsidy claims and payments made in 2011.

The technical committee, appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, has one week, the finance minister said, to finalize their findings. After that, petroleum marketers will be allowed to oil marketers to contest the findings of the committee.

She revealed this after the second Prof. Barth Nnaji annual lecture at the Enugu State University of Technology, Enugu.

She said: “In terms of the subsidy, it is true that we budgeted N 888 billion for the year. We have used N451 billion of that. We still have N370bn left that we are working on. So it is not like all the money is finished and we will be working on that.

“As you know, there was a recent report to verify 2011 arrears that , with the support of Mr. President, I set up, and chaired by Aig-Imokhuede. We set it up in the Ministry of Finance and they have worked. They used over 20 forensic accountants and bank examiners. As a result, Mr. President two days ago, constituted a Presidential Task Force, also chaired by Mr. Aig-Imokhuede, to try and just complete work on the verification and then begin the recovery.

“The verification is to give a chance to any of those marketers who say, ‘oh, maybe you got it wrong here or there’ to come forward. And the President has given them a very tight deadline of about a week. When we finish with that, then the next stage will be for us to try and get our money back.

“We must get some of those resources back. Let’s wait for the resources to come back. I am sure Nigerians will like that and then we can take it from there.

“President Jonathan has directed the 15-member committee, headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, to begin work immediately and conclude its assignment by 1700 hours on Friday, July 13, 2012 as a prelude to immediate action on all identified cases of fraud”.

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