Thursday, 30 April 2015

Okonjo-Iweala: FG to Pay Oil Marketers N156bn Subsidy Claims 30 Apr 2015 Font Size: a / A

Okonjo-Iweala: FG to Pay Oil Marketers N156bn Subsidy Claims

30 Apr 2015
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1812F05.Ngozi-okonjo-Iweala.jpg - 1812F05.Ngozi-okonjo-Iweala.jpg
  Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
By James Emejo in Abuja   รข€¨
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Wednesday said the federal government would disburse N156 billion to oil marketers today in order to arrest the fuel shortage nationwide.
She also said efforts were being made to ensure that federal civil servants get their salaries.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja shortly after the opening of the 20th conference of Directors General of Customs and Excise of the World Customs Organisation, West and Central Africa Region, she explained that the amount due to oil marketers included N100 billion in IOUs, an informal document acknowledging government’s debt to them, which was now due, as well as interest rate differentials amounting to N56 billion.
According to her, “On the issue of oil marketers, we have really been working with them and we have been dialoguing with them all along. We paid them N350 billion in December, we paid them N31 billion for foreign exchange differentials; and by tomorrow, we will be paying them N100 billion which we gave them as IOUs as well as their interest rate differentials of N56 billion.
“So I am about to go and sign to get that paid and I think Nigerians would agree that government is making maximum efforts to accommodate the oil marketers. They are also Nigerians and they also need to cooperate with us…
“In this very difficult environment where revenues are constrained, we are doing our maximum, we have prioritised them because we don't want Nigerians to suffer. But they (marketers) too need to cooperate with Nigerians and also be good and patriotic citizens.”
On the delay in paying salaries of federal civil servants, she assured Nigerians that workers would get payment alerts by today.
“As I speak, salaries are being paid, so between today and tomorrow, they will get their alerts. So there’s no problem,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, has  said he has mobilised 23-member countries of West and Central Africa to establish a common understanding of coordinated border management to jointly tackle insurgencies and diseases, particularly the Ebola virus, as well as improve trade facilitation in the region.
He said the aim of the proposed deal is to remove obstacles to improved revenue generation of member countries amid the current fiscal challenges caused by depressed oil prices.
He also disclosed that about 28 revenue offenders were successfully prosecuted by the NCS in 2014, adding that more cases were being prosecuted in the courts.
Dikko Inde said efforts would be made to intensify the fight against smuggling so as to allow people use approved routes for trade, a move expected to further boost revenue collection for the government.

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