Jonathan sets up fresh panel on subsidy claims


President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday set up another committee that will review the findings of the Aigboje Aig Imoukhuede led Technical Committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance to conduct a detailed review of all subsidy claims and payments made in 2011.

The Technical Committee had in the report which it recently submitted to the Ministry of Finance accused some oil marketers of collecting over N400 billion in subsidy payment without importing petroleum products into the country.

However, many of the oil marketers have rejected the claims in the report. Some of the companies indicted for receiving subsidy payments without importing products into the country also said the Committee failed to invite them or request for necessary documents that could facilitated its investigations before it reached its conclusions.

The credibility of the document was also put in doubt with revelations that only Aig-Imokhuede, the Chairman of the Committee signed the report.

There have also been speculation that some members of the 15-man committee are planning to write a minority report.

In a statement signed on his behalf by Reuben Abati, his spokesperson today, President Goodluck Jonathan the new Committee is set up to verify and reconcile the findings of the Aig-Imokhuede Technical Committee.

“President Jonathan has directed the 15-member committee headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to begin work immediately and conclude its assignment by 1700 hours on Friday, July 13, 2012 as a prelude to immediate action on all identified cases of fraud”,Abati said in the statement.

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“Other members of the new committee are: Dr. Abraham Nwankwo (DG DMO), Mr. Bernard Otti (GED Finance & Accounts, NNPC), Mrs. Oyinye Ahuchogu (CBN), Mrs. Sola David-Borha (MD Stanbic/IBTC, representing the Banking Community), Mr. Mike Osatuyi (National Secretary, IPMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, Mr. Jonah Otunla (Accountant-General of the Federation), Mr. Bright Okogwu (DG, Budget Office), Mr. Reginald Stanley (Executive Secretary, PPPRA), Mrs. Aisha Waziri-Umar and Mr. Jalal Arabi.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the State Security Service will also be represented on the Committee which has the following terms of reference:

1. To further verify and reconcile all claims made in the report of the Technical Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments;

2. To properly identify all cases of overpayment and/or irregular payment;

3. To accurately identify all likely fraudulent cases for criminal investigation and

4. To review any other pertinent issues that may arise from its work and make appropriate recommendations.

“On receiving the Verification and Reconciliation Committee’s report, President Jonathan will order whatever action he deems necessary to ensure justice and the full recovery of all fuel subsidy funds that may have been illegally paid”, President Jonathan concluded in the statement.

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