“Nigerians Should Not Be Blackmailed, Oil Marketers Subsidy Claims Reeks Of Fraud” – Okonjo-Iweala Vows Not To Pay

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Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has vowed not to pay oil marketers their subsidy claims, accusing them of presenting fraudulent claims with various exchange rates.

She said the marketers subsidy claims reeked of fraud and that the marketers are just out to blackmail Nigerians and make them suffer. She said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday May 23.

“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. I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed. I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed”she said….

She said, “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.”

“No $60 billion was accumulated under the Jonathan administration,” she said.

She added: “Current debt stock includes both federal and state governments debts made up of $9.7 billion external debt or 15 per cent of total debt stock and $54 billion or 85 per cent domestic debt stock.

“Nigeria is still repaying the multilateral loans it collected on concessionary terms with as long as 40 years maturity periods.”

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