The Federal Government has said it has paid a total of N287.352 billion to oil marketers since the beginning of the year under the petroleum subsidy scheme. The Federal Ministry of Finance, in a statement signed by Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, said the amount was paid as verified claims to verified marketers.
He further stated that the Federal Ministry of Finance has released the sum of N46.764 billion as latest payment to oil marketers whose claims have successfully gone through the verification process.
According to him, 11 oil marketers verified in April 2013 were to be paid N17.3 billion, while 19 oil marketers verified in May were to be paid N29.47 billion. He explained that the payment is in furtherance of President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of fuel subsidy payments. He further stated that the Federal Government has reduced public spending on oil subsidy payments from N2.2 trillion in 2011 to N971 billion last year
According to him, this represents a reduction of about 56 per cent or N1.2 trillion within one year.
Commenting on the reduction, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minsiter for Finance, said, “In 2011, there was a huge public outcry. As a result, this administration has worked hard to clean up the process of subsidy payments.
“In response the ministry set up the Aig-Imoukhuede committee which investigated the subsidy payments. The committee was later elevated to a Presidential Committee by the President. We also hired new auditors and we put in place different checks and balances. As a result, last year, we brought subsidy payment down to about N950 billion, and we expect that this year, we will pay about N971 billion. “I believe this is a huge achievement for which the Jonathan administration deserves some credit, something that should make Nigerians proud of their government.”