Fuel subsidy: FG probes 21 firms for alleged fraudLatest Politics, Oil Politics Friday, August 17th, 2012
The Federal Ministry of Finance on Friday published the names of 21 firms being investigated under the fuel subsidy regime.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Finance Minister on Media, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu.
The statement said the firms were being investigated based on the report of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the companies are: Alminnur Resources Limited, Brilla Energy Limited, Caades Oil and Gas Limited, Capital Oil and Gas Industry Limited, Connoil Plc, Downstream Energy Source Limited, and Eterna Plc.
Others are: Euraafric Oil and Gas Limited, Lumen Skies Limited, Majope Investment Limited, Matrix Energy Limited, Menon Oil and Gas Limited, Mob International Services and M.R.S. Oil and Gas Limited.
The rest include: Nasaman Oil Services Limited, Natacel Petroleum Limited, Ocean Energy Trading and Services, Pinnacle Contractors Limited, Sifax Oil and Gas Company, Tonique Oil Services Limited and Top Oil and Gas Development Company Limited.
The statement noted that the Aig-Imoukhuede committee’s report recommended that these firms should refund various sums to the Federal Government’s treasury.
Also, the statement listed a second group of companies with infractions considered by the government and Aig-Imoukhuede-led committee as “ relatively minor.’’
According to the statement, these categories of companies are in discussion with government for a quick resolution of their issues.
It gave conditions in which government was prepared to settle their claims.
“For oil marketers under investigation for possible refunds to the government, their 2012 outstanding claims will be netted out against their expected refunds to government.
“For those with a positive net balance, that is outstanding claims greater than expected refunds will be processed and paid.’’
Also, the statement said for marketers that owed government more in refunds than government owes them, the Aig-Imoukhuede committee would accelerate review of their documents after the Eid-el- Fitr public holidays.
It assured Nigerians that claims for marketers in this category would be processed and settled, if cleared, without further delay after the public holiday.
The statement also reiterated that the ministry was not responsible for the looming fuel supply shortage in Abuja and environs, caused by the oil marketers strike over delayed payment of subsidy claims.
“ It is clear that those behind the strikes are marketers being investigated. These elements have now resorted to hiding behind the unions to unnecessarily antagonise government and create hardship for Nigerians.
“We want to make it clear that 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. Government will, therefore, pursue justice and ensure that those who are found guilty are appropriately sanctioned.’’
The statement reaffirmed that between April and August, the Sovereign Debt Notes amounting to N42.66 billion were issued to 31 oil marketers, in respect of the 2012 fuel subsidy claims.
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