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FG recovered N26bn from subsidy cabal – Okonjo-Iweala

By on February 22, 2013

The Federal Government yesterday said it has so far recovered about N26 billion from the petroleum subsidy cabal which defrauded government of about N232billion last year.

Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance,  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the Presidential  Villa, Abuja.

Iweala observed that the recovery followed President Goodluck Jonathan’s  resolve to tackle corruption alongside other socio economic challenges facing the country.

Anambra governor,  Peter Obi, who also doubles as deputy chairman of the Governors’ Forum, had disclosed that the National Economic Council (NEC) plans an anti- corruption session to brainstorm on how to tackle the malaise in the country.

Governor Obi had said that no government has been more vocal  about the issue  of corruption and mismanagement of resources that the current administration.

“Whether it is in pension or elsewhere , what is happening in pension and the issue of subsidy did not happen today. What we are talking about is the overall impact, whether it is the money we used to fund education, health, and any other sector,  what we want is to make sure that the money is utilised in the manner that is effective  and productive and lowering the effect of corruption.”

Okonjo-Iweala, contributing, reiterated  government’s efforts at tackling corruption, describing the decision of  the NEC  as very “necessary.

“It is interesting that you now have members of the National Economic Council  debating this issue. What can we do to make sure  that in each and every sector, we have accountability, to ensure transparency. This is something that the president will very much want and those of us on the side of finance very much welcome”.

The minister also disclosed that  efforts to clean up  fuel subsidy fraud have been yielding fruit, as government has so far recovered about N26 billion of the N232b stolen.

“There  was some clean up in the N1trillion  worth  of subsidy transactions when it was investigated by  the Aig-Imoukhuede committee and he reported openly how N232 billion worth of transaction was found to be questionable.

“As a result, we identified 25 companies that  were found to be guilty and we published their names  in the newspapers for Nigerians to see, and we set about  recovering the money and N26 billion  is what we have been able to recover so far. This  is part of the commitment of President Jonathan to ensure that the sector is properly cleaned up.”

She disclosed that the government has also acted quickly in freezing the account of the Pension Commission, when  it was identified that there was fraud in the system.

“We are now building a new department  to take over the pension fund, government is tightening up on the old pension” she said.

Okonjo-Iweala, who also spoke on the 2013 budget, said both the president and members of the National Assembly had been meeting to  harmonise areas of differences in the best interest of Nigerians.

“We want the budget that can be well implemented, so to that extent, we have  seen various talks with the National Assembly and it is still ongoing, trying to iron  out the areas of differences in the budget. As you know, it is a give and take process, but at the end of the day I think we are having a constructive engagement on the issue.




[Business Day]

One Comment

  1. dan chuk

    February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Recovering N26b from subsidy cabal is a great news that we all need to celebrate. I think those that think this woman is not performing should look at this story and have a rethink. Here is a woman who has been very at the forefront of fighting this cabal even at the risk of her life!