With The Payment Of N156bn To Oil Marketers In Subsidies, Enabling Them To Make Products Available And Ease Tension, FG Says It Has Paid Out N500bn Over Five Months To Marketers
In line with Federal Government’s commitment to prioritise payment to oil marketers in spite of revenue constraints, the Federal Ministry of Finance has paid the sum of N156 billion to oil marketers. A statement signed by Paul Nwabuikwu, Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, said the payment has two components. “The first consists of the cash backing of the N100 billion IOU which the marketers were given in March.
The second is N56 billion in interest payments for the marketers according to the PPPRA template. This leaves a balance of N98 billion certified by PPPRA as the amount owed the marketers. According to him, the N156 billion is the latest in a series of significant payments made to the oil marketers within the last five months.
Nwabuikwu stated that the payments include over N300 billion paid in two instalments in December 2014 and N31 billion in interest differentials, also paid recently. “In all, oil marketers have received over N500 billion within the past five months”, he stated. Meanwhile, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance has urged the marketers to appreciate the efforts being made by the Federal Government to meet up with their payments and reciprocate with some understanding of the situation of Nigerians who should not suffer more.
She urged the marketers to sustain the distribution and supply of fuel to end the suffering of Nigerians at fuel stations. “The Federal Government has made maximum effort, in spite of the wellknown fact that the fall in oil prices has significantly reduced national revenues, to prioritize payments to marketers. For the sake of Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of fuel scarcity, the marketers should reciprocate in the spirit of dialogue and cooperation in which we have always tried to engage them”, she said. Meanwhile, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has noted with dismay, the attempt by some local accounting firms to distract it with a lawsuit challenging the employment of PriceWaterhouseCoopers to carry out a forensic audit of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to a statement signed by Paul Nwabuikwu, the minister’s attention has been drawn to stories that SIAO Partners, a group of three accounting firms, has filed a suit against her before a Lagos High Court. Though Nwabuikwu noted that the minister is yet to be formally notified of the suit, he however stated that “from information gleaned from media reports, the group is alleging that she appointed the global audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to conduct the recently concluded forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against the provisions of the Local Content Act”.
He stated that “the CME is astonished by the news of the said court action which is spurious in the extreme. It is shocking that professionals of the calibre of the SIAO Partners can embark on this kind of legal action without taking the trouble to do the minimum amount of homework to confirm basic facts”. According to the statement “Dr Okonjo-Iweala did not appoint the PWC to carry out the audit”, just as she urged SIAO Partners to “immediately drop this totally baseless suit or she will see them in court”.