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Okonjo-Iweala Calls On Nigerians To Rise Against Oil Marketers For Demanding N159 Billion Subsidy Payment

Financial Minister, Okonjo Iweala
Financial Minister, Okonjo Iweala

Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has asked Nigerians to rise against oil marketers whom she said have been defrauding them in the name of oil subsidy. She said that the N159 Billion subsidy payment they submitted to the government is suspicious.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday at a farewell meeting in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala made it clear that she would not approve payment of the claims unless verified by the relevant authorities.
“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 said, even as she accused the marketers of blackmailing Nigerians, asking the people to resist.
The minister who insisted that the current fuel scarcity has nothing to do with paying the marketers, 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.”
The minister said there was something curious about the supply of and payment for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“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.” [myad]

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