Petroleum Marketers found to have inflated their figures for fuel subsidy would be made to refund whatever excesses they have been paid, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said.
This is as the total of N404.1 billion capital budgetary allocation have been released for the use of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) since January to date, even the sum of N17 billion has been released for the 2012 fuel subsidy claims by the marketers.
Okonjo-Iweala who divulged this yesterday, in Abuja said the committee constituted to review the entire subsidy payment system would complete their work next week.
The committee led by Access Bank Managing Director, Aigboje Imokhuede, is to verify the 2011 payment claims filed by the marketers to make sure the right sum was being paid to them. She insisted that once the report was submitted, any marketer found to have made excess demand from government would be made to refund it.
Recall that the sum of N888 billion was budgeted for fuel subsidy in 2012, out of which N451 billion has been spent servicing the 2011 arrears.
She said the amount comprised of the N304.1 billion realised for the first quarter as well as N100 billion second quarter capital released on Wednesday.
According to her, of the N304.1 billion for first quarter N239.8 billion was cash-backed. She explained that only N94.1 billion representing 39 per cent has been spent while the remaining 61 per cent was still available for the MDAs.
“We are doing quite well in terms of releases of capital vote and in terms of clearing all our bills, the government is doing well on that level. For the first quarter, we released N304.1 billion. We cash-backed N239.8 billion. And cash backing means we have released with warrants. We need some agencies to write us when they are ready to spend.
Out of the N239.8 billion, we have N94.1 billion or equivalent of 39 per cent. Meaning that 61 per cent is still available for spending in the first quarter. We have also released an additional N100 billion of second quarter capital. So as at June we have released a total of N404.1 billion from the beginning of the year till date,” she said.
She said the performance was not surprising given that the last budget year was extended to March 2012. “So people were still working on that budget until March. But as you know we are doing away with that practice, we plan to start on time so that the budget can be ready on time.”
Capital is being released and there is plenty of room for spending by the MDAs. And several of them are working very hard to speed up implementation of their projects with results in the various departments.
On the recurrent side, the sum of N1.36 trillion has been expended, bringing total expenditure to date to N1.44 trillion, while total revenue to date stood at N1.29 trillion.