FUEL SUBSIDY FRAUD: 21 INDICTED OIL FIRMS TO PAY N382 BILLION TO FG
Twenty-one oil firms have been indicted by a Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy payment over alleged fraudulent claims.
The Committee, which is led by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, in a report submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan today, urged the President to commence the process of recovering the sum of N382 billion from the indicted companies.
In the report, the said N382billion was part of the contentious N422 billion identified by the Technical Committee which was also chaired by Aig-Imoukhuede.
Following the submission of the report of the federal government Technical Committee which looked into fuel subsidy management from 2010-2011, the President on July 5 constituted the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy payment made between 2009 and 2011.
The committee’s terms of reference include to further verify and reconcile all claims made in the report of the Technical Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments; to properly identify all cases of overpayment and/or irregular payment; to accurately identify all likely fraudulent cases for criminal investigation and also to review any other pertinent issues that may arise from its work and make appropriate recommendations.
The committee turned in its report on July 13 after one week of work in line with the president’s directive.
Aig-Imoukhuede, who briefed State House Correspondents shortly after submitting the report in the company of the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the committee had identified 21 firms for criminal investigation.
He also noted that there were issues of irregular payments and short-time certificate issues among others.
On the contentious N422 billion, the committee noted that N18 billion was found to be duplication, thereby the actual amount that was being verified was N403 billion.
Out of the N403 billion, the committee was able to clear N21 billion, leaving the sum of N382 billion as the sum in contention for which the committee recommended that the process of recovery be made.
In the final report submitted, according to Aig-Imoukhuede, the committee made 22 recommendations which include the recovery of the illegal payment of N382 billion.