Finance Minister refuted allegations that her ministry is blocking verified payment to marketers.
About 23 petroleum products marketers may be paid subsidies on imported products supplied last year, as the Federal Ministry of Finance has concluded the verification of their claims.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who gave the confirmation in a statement through her Special Adviser, Paul Nwabuikwu, refuted allegations that the Ministry was blocking verified payments to marketers.
“The payments totalling about N94 billion are presently going through the CBN’s processes, which include the conversion of the dollar equivalent from the Excess Crude Account, and will be concluded soon,” the minister said.
“We are committed to paying all companies who deserve to get subsidy payments just as we will not pay undeserving firms. That is the mandate we have from the President”, she added.
According to the Minister, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Finance Ministry have since transferred the N161.6 billion supplementary budget, which was approved by the National Assembly last December for subsidy payments, to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for due process to be followed.
The minister attributed the delay in the payment to the process that requires the marketers to present their papers and their sovereign debt notes, which are being converted from dollar into naira.
We’ve not received 2013 budget
On the approval of the 2013 budget, the minister said the Federal Government is still awaiting the full budget from the National Assembly, saying she would not comment till that is done.
But, the Minister’s claim contradicts the declaration by Senate Spokesman, Eyinnaya Abaribe, last week, when he said the lawmakers had transmitted the approved 2013 Appropriation Bill to the president a day after it was passed by the lawmakers.