FG Reads Riot Act to Fuel Marketers
The Ministry of Finance released a statement calling the fuel marketers to order even as the Presidency has indicted more manipulators of the petrol subsidy system.
The statement released by Ngoi Okonjo-Iweala’s office names MRS, Capital Oil and ConOil as suspects in the fraud.
Other oil marketing companies implicated include Aluminnur Resources Ltd., Brilla Energy Ltd., Caades Oil and Gas Ltd., Downstream Energy Source Ltd., Eterna Plc and Eurafric Oil and Gas Ltd.
Also mentioned in the fraud that cost Nigeria untold billions of Naira were Lumen Skies Ltd., Majope Investment Ltd., Matrix Energy Ltd., Menon Oil and Gas Ltd., MOB International Services, Nasaman Oil Services Ltd., Natacel Petroleum Ltd., Ocean Energy Trading and Services, Pinnacle Contractors Ltd., Sifax Oil and Gas Company, Tonique Oil Services Ltd. and Top Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd.
The statement from the Minister’s office said the fuel shortages being experienced in parts of the ocuntry were likely being orchestrated by some of the firms indicted in the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede-led Presidential Committee on fuel subsidy claims.
The statement reads, “There is a second group of companies with infractions which are relatively minor. They are in discussion with the government for a quick resolution of their issues. The government is prepared to settle their claims under the following circumstances.
“For oil marketers under investigation for possible refunds to the government, their 2012 outstanding claims will be netted out against their expected refunds to the government and those with a positive net balance, i.e. outstanding claims greater than expected refunds, will be processed and paid.
“For marketers with a negative balance with the government, i.e they owe the government more in refunds than the government owes them, the Aig-Imoukhuede committee will accelerate the review of their documents after the Sallah break so that their claims can be processed and settled, if cleared, without further delay.
“It is clear that those behind the strikes are marketers being investigated for possible fraud. These elements have now resorted to hiding behind the unions to unnecessarily antagonise the government and create hardship for Nigerians.
“We want to make it clear that the government will fully investigate their activities and if found guilty, bring them to book and recover all public funds fraudulently obtained in the guise of fuel subsidy claims.
“No degree of blackmail will stop the government from doing its work. The government will, therefore, pursue justice and ensure that those who are found guilty are appropriately sanctioned.”