Posted by News Express | 2 July 2014 | 2,664 times
Payment of N45 billion to marketers for verified oil subsidy claims is ongoing, the Minister of Finance announced this evening.
Paul C Nwabuikwu, Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in a statement issued in Abuja that it became necessary to clarify issues as the ministry has received several enquiries regarding the status of payments to oil marketers for fuel imports. Nwabuikwu clarified as follows:
•Only marketers whose claims have been cleared after they have gone through the verification processes are paid. This is to ensure that the unpleasant experiences of the recent past with regard to wrong and irregular payments are not repeated.
•The process for the latest batch of payments totalling N45 billion is currently on and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has confirmed that some marketers who have submitted letters of indemnity to the OAGF have already been paid. Other claims are being attended to.
•The letters of indemnity are an additional requirement for payment because banks which financed imports by some marketers had written to the OAGF through their lawyers to complain that their clients (the marketers) are making interest payments through other banks contrary to the terms of agreements reached. The banks in question are insisting that the interest payments be made through them since they granted the facilities that attracted the interest.
•To ensure that the Federal Government is not held liable in the event of any litigation between these banks and their marketer-customers, the OAGF has instituted the new procedure.
•It is important to note that subsidy payments are made retroactively because claims must go through all the necessary processes before they are approved and paid.
Government will continue to discharge its obligations to marketers whose claims are approved.
•Photo shows Okonjo-Iweala.
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