The Federal Ministry of Finance has on Saturday sacked the accounting and auditing firms, Akintola Williams and Co, and Adekanola and Co for incompetence over the management of the disputed petroleum subsidy scheme.
The two audit and accounting firms were engaged by the Ministry some years back to certify the documents and claims of marketers and importers before payment are made.
The sack of the two companies was announced in a press release signed by Paul Nwaibukwu, Senior Special Assistant to the Coordination Minister for Economy and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala made available to the media today.
The Federal Ministry of Finance however indicated that the sack of the two companies followed its review of the aspects of the implementation of the subsidy regime which it said has been going on for the past two months.
The press release read;
“Concerned about the management of the subsidy regime, the Federal Ministry of Finance has for the last two months been reviewing aspects of the implementation of the subsidy regime related to its functions. The review has produced a lot of useful details on what was wrong with the system and what needs to be done to ensure improvement going forward.”
The Ministry also announced the setting up of a committee that will determine arrears of subsidy claims in 2011 as well as suspension of further withdrawals from the Excess Crude Account.
“The review process kicked off in February when the ministry and relevant government agencies held a meeting with bankers and marketers at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. This was followed by a subsequent session with the accounting and auditing firms to re-evaluate their work”, said the Finance ministry.
“The review has produced a lot of useful details on what was wrong with the system and what needs to be done to ensure improvement going forward.
“Based on the review, the Ministry has taken the following steps:
“The services of the audit and accounting firms responsible for certifying the documents and claims of marketers before payment have been terminated. The companies are Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola and Co.
“The Ministry has established a committee made up of credible and experienced persons from the private and public sector with strong technical component under the chairmanship of Mr. Aigboje Imoukuede to examine the claims of payment arrears for 2011 currently being made by marketers. This is to ensure that only genuine claims are honoured.
“The ministry is also finalising a new and more effective system to replace the current arrangement and, in this regard, a second committee has been set up to propose a good way to forward.
“Based on other outcomes of the review, the ministry will take further actions as necessary”. the press release added.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee that probed the management of the subsidy scheme had earlier in its report recommended that Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola and Co firms be suspended for three years for failing to execute their job.