Press Statement: Important Development In The Management Of Fuel Subsidy Payments

A STATEMENT BY THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE

PREAMBLE
Fuel subsidy fraud This statement is being issued to apprise Nigerians of some key developments in the management of fuel subsidy payments which are important to understanding the approach adopted by the Federal Government on this issue which understandably has attracted a lot of public attention.

PAYMENT OF MARKETERS
The position of the Federal Government on fuel subsidy payments is clear: We will do our best to encourage honest efforts by genuine companies engaged in fuel importation but we will not fall for the cheap blackmail of indicted marketers who are using all kinds of subterfuge to escape sanctions.

We know that Nigerians are fully in support of this position because the money belongs to all Nigerians and it is important that the correct steps are taken to protect the public interest.

We would also like to stress that marketers with legitimate and unencumbered claims have been paid and will continue to be paid as these details show:

– Between April and May 2012, Batches D/12 and E/12 involving 14 oil marketers with a claim of N17 billion were fully settled.

– In addition, since early July 2012, N25.6 billion worth of claims have been fully settled.

– In all, between April and August this year, in respect of 2012 PMS claims, N42.666 billion have been paid to 31 oil marketers.

These are incontrovertible facts which confirm government’s commitment to ensuring that issues concerning genuine marketers with legitimate claims are dealt with expeditiously.

COMPANIES UNDER INVESTIGATION ON SUSPICION OF FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES
Following the work of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments led by Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the following firms are being investigated based on evidence that they may have engaged in fraudulent activities under the fuel subsidy regime:

1. ALMINNUR RESOURCES LTD
2. BRILLA ENERGY LED
3. CAADES OIL AND GAS LTD
4. CAPITAL OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY LTD
5. CONNOIL PLC
6. DOWNSTREAM ENERGY SOURCE LTD
7. ETERNA PLC
8. EURAAFRIC OIL AND GAS LTD
9. LUMEN SKIES LTD
10. MAJOPE INVESTMENT LTD
11. MATRIX ENERGY LTD
12. MENON OIL AND GAS LTD
13. MOB INTERNATIONAL SERVICES
14. MRS OIL AND GAS LTD
15. NASAMAN OIL SERVICES LTD
16. NATACEL PETROLEUM LTD
17. OCEAN ENERGY TRADING AND SERVICES
18. PINNACLE CONTRACTORS LTD
19. SIFAX OIL AND GAS COMPANY
20. TONIQUE OIL SERVICES LTD
21. TOP OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT CO. LTD

The Report recommended that these firms refund various amounts to the national treasury.

COMPANIES WITH LESS SEVERE CASES TO ANSWER
There is a second group of companies with infractions which are relatively minor. These are in discussion with government for a quick resolution of their issues. Government is prepared to settle their claims under the following circumstances.

1. For oil marketers under investigation for possible refunds to the government, their 2012 outstanding claims will be netted out against their expected refunds to government and those with a positive net balance i.e outstanding claims greater than expected refunds will be processed and paid.

2. For marketers with a negative balance with government, i.e they owe Government more in refunds than Government owes them, the Aig-Imoukhuede committee will accelerate review of their documents after the Sallah break so that their claims can be processed and settled, if cleared, without further delay.

3. For others that may not be in the above categories but who have other issues or claims, their claims will also be attended to with the same despatch.

CONCLUSION
It is clear that those behind the strikes are marketers being investigated for possible fraud. These elements have now resorted to hiding behind the unions to unnecessarily antagonize Government and create hardship for Nigerians.

We want to make it clear that Government will fully investigate their activities and if found guilty, bring them to book and recover all public funds fraudulently obtained, in the guise of fuel subsidy claims. No degree of blackmail will stop the Government from doing its work. Government will, therefore, pursue justice and ensure that those who are found guilty are appropriately sanctioned.

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE, ABUJA

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