N17 billion paid for oil subsidy in 2012

Published 7 years ago by: Olufowose Temitope
at 15-06-2012 10:14AM (7 years ago)

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Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said on Thursday that the Federal Government had released N17 billion as part of the subsidy for fuel delivered in 2012, an indication that government had accumulated some arrears of subsidy for cargoes already delivered. 

She spoke today in Abuja about the implemntation of this year’s budget, revealing that more than half of the N 888b subsidy budget this year, has been spent paying for 2011 deliveries.

She said that government had already made payment of N451 billion to service 2011 deliveries and that the ministry will continue the payment for the 2011 delivery after the verification to ensure accurate payment. 

The minister said that ongoing verification was the outcome of the stakeholders’ meeting in February, adding that it would not cause any fuel scarcity in the country.  “There are quite a few ships on the high sea that are carrying products that can last for more than three months,  therefore, people should not exercise fear. “What we are doing is not to stop anything or to stop the marketers. Things are going on but we are trying to be faithful to what Nigerians want from us,’’ she said. She said that the verification was also part of government’s  effort to know if the amount spent in 2011 were made correctly The minister said that there was the need to exercise care at the speed at which payment were made and also to ascertain the worth of the payment. “We have allowed the committee to work to verify that what we are paying is really being paid for genuine products to avoid all the mistakes that we have made in the past of just paying all marketers. “So, this committee has focused on the private marketers first, working with the PPPRA and we expect the report to be delivered within the next one week. ` `Once we have verified that the payment is genuine, we move ahead, but if they are not of course, we shall be asking those that are not genuinely paid to refund the money.“We said we cannot be stampeded into just payment until we verify that what we are doing is correct; this is what Nigerians are asking for.

The minister also reported that the federal Government has released N404.1 billion as part of the capital budget for Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the first and second quarter of 2012.

For first quarter, we released N304.1 billion and we cash backed N239.8 billion; to cash back means that we have released with warrant. “The reason there is no cash backing for N304.1 billion is because some agencies are not ready to make request to spend the rest of their capital allocation. “Out of the N239.8 billion that was cash backed, N94.1 billion or 39 per cent has been ultilised and that many agencies still had room within the first quarter releases for spending. Okonjo-Iweala attributed the low utilisation of the budget to the extension of the 2011 budget into 2012 and gave assurance of a better arrangement for the 2013 budget. “Now, what we have done is that we have gone ahead to release an additional N100 billion yesterday of the second quarter capital. “We have now released N404.1 billion of our capital that agencies can have available for spending.’’

She said N100 billion was released for the second quarter because there was still room for more spending from the first quarter releases and gave assurance that releases for the third quarter would be done in the next one month or two. On some MDAs not receiving salaries, she said the ministry was witnessing some breaches with the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Solution System (IPPIS). The minister noted that only about 300 civil servants out of the initial 15,000 had been identified to still have challenges with receiving their salaries. She gave assurance that efforts were being made to ensure that civil servants received their salary when due, adding that the IPPIS was to encourage transparency in governance. Okonjo-Iweala,who is also the minister of Finance, added that by the end of 2012 the entire MDAs domiciled in Abuja would be fully captured in the IPPIS. Also speaking, Mr Jonah Otunla, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), said that as at May 2012, 114 MDAs had been captured in the IPPIS. “The savings from IPPIS as at April 2012 is N14 billion, while a total of 43 ghost workers have been weeded out. Otunla said that the AGF was faced with the challenge of new agencies brought on board the IPPIS system but noted that adequate measures had been taken to ensure that the challenge was tackled. He said that from January to June, N1.29 trillion was generated as revenue, while the sum of N1.036 trillion was spent on recurrent expenditure.