The current face off between the federal government and oil importers over subsidy payment isn’t ending anytime soon. According to TheNation,
Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has accused marketers of submitting fraudulent payment claims of about N159billion in exchange rate differentials and she has vowed not to approve payment except they are verified by relevant authorities.
Speaking at a farewell meeting in Abuja she said oil marketers are the ones inflicting sufferings on Nigerians and not the government.
“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.” she added
She also accused marketers of exploiting Nigerians. “They are making a lot of money from black market activities, people should rise up against the blackmail of oil marketers. I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed.”
She continued: “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.”