FG won’t pay fraudulent N159bilIion subsidy claims to marketers, says Okonjo-lweala

Just in: The federal government is set for a fresh showdown with oil marketers over their subsidy payment. Minister of Finance Okonjo-Iweala on Saturday in Abuja accused the oil marketers of submitting to government fraudulent payment claims to the tune of N159billion.

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Based on this, the current fuel scarcity which has virtually grounded the whole nation for several days isn’t going to end very soon. Okonjo-Iweala vowed not to approve payment of the claims unless verified by the relevant authorities. She said, “Marketers were asking for N159 billion for exchange rate differentials from the outstanding N200 billion. There has been so much fraud and scam so I have refused to sign for that money but have agreed that a committee be set up involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to verify marketers’ claims.” “Marketers just want to make Nigerians suffer,” she added.

The minister also blasted the marketers for ‘blackmailing Nigerians’ and asked the people to resist. She also insisted that the current fuel scarcity has nothing to do with paying the marketers. Okonjo-Iweala said, “They are making a lot of money from black market activities, people should rise up against the blackmail of oil marketers. “I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed.” “I cannot say that the problem is due to not paying marketers, the process of paying marketers is always a rolling process and there has never been a time government reduced its financial obligation to marketers to zero. “In a year where so much effort has been made to pay marketers including prioritizing their payment as subsidy claims in favour of other financial obligation like paying contractors, yet fuel scarcity still persists at this particular point in time suggests that something suspicious is happening,” she added.

Courtesy: Today Internet Newspaper

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