Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole yesterday came hard on the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala over the lingering fuel scarcity and her claims that oil marketers were presenting fraudulent oil subsidy claims for payment.
Speaking at a function, the Governor queried the Minister for speaking up about the falsification of claims by the oil marketers just few days after the government in which she is a minister will be leaving office. He said the Minister should take sole responsibility for any discrepancies recorded in the subsidy claims and in the Economy as a whole.
“It is quite intriguing that with barely few days left in office, she has suddenly woken up from her slumber to realize that oil marketers have all along been falsifying subsidy claims and defrauding the nation of billions of naira and dollars. The question to ask is: how come that it is now, for the first time, that we are hearing from the Minister of Finance about fraudulent claims by the oil marketers amounting to billions of Naira? At what point did the Minister of Finance and CME realize that these fraudulent and similar claims are going on? When did it start? Is it just recently or it has been going on all along? These questions are pertinent because we know that if the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) were doing its work diligently, all claims by oil marketers would be vetted on a daily basis before their payments are processed by the Ministry of Finance. Hence, there should be no dispute about the amount due to oil marketers at any point in time.
What the foregoing, therefore, suggests is that all along, PPPRA, the Ministry of Finance and the oil marketers have been involved in an unholy alliance, in the mismanagement of the fuel subsidy regime and in the process defrauding the nation of its revenues. The recent nationwide fuel and energy crisis, adjudged the worst in the economic history of Nigeria, is merely a reflection of the gross mismanagement of the economy which characterized Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s tenure since 2011″he said
He said the Price water Cooper’s audit report on the NNPC revealed “massive abuse of public trust and stealing of our common patrimony in high places under her watch and the government she serves”.