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FG panel asks 21 indicted oil firms to refund N382bn

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The Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments submitted its final report to President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Abuja, recommending that N382 billion be recovered from 21 indicted companies.

Briefing newsmen on the highlights of the report, the committee’s chairman, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said the recovery of the amount was part of the 22 recommendations made in the report.

He explained that the 21 companies indicted in the report were among the 116 companies that were investigated by the committee.

He said: “There were 116 Oil Marketing and Trading (OMT) Companies, which I will call OMTs during the course of this interaction, that participated in the Petroleum Subsidy Scheme in the period of review.

“The Presidential Committee invited all 116 for interviews. 107 OMTs honoured the invitations. They were interviewed by various panels constituted by the Presidential Committee and the outcomes of these interviews are also captured in the report.

“Out of the N422 billion identified by the Technical Committee, which I chaired, the Presidential Committee took steps to identify and remove duplications which might have been contained in the Technical Committee report and which were also discovered in the course of the panel interviews.

“Of the N422 billion, N18 billion thereabouts was found to be duplication. So, the actual amount that was being verified is N403 billion. Of this amount, N21 billion was cleared; that leaves N382 billion as the sum in contention for which the Committee recommended that the process of recovery should be made.”

He said the committee also recommended criminal investigation and prosecution of the indicted companies and that the external auditors and government officials implicated in the report be brought to book, adding that the committee also stressed the need for speedy implementation of its recommendations.

The Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments was inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on July 5.

Its main term of reference was to further verify and reconcile all claims made in the report of the Technical Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments.

It was also saddled with the task of identifying all cases of overpayment and/irregular payment, accurately identifying all likely fraudulent cases for criminal investigation, as well as reviewing any other pertinent issue that might arise from its work and making appropriate recommendations

Article Credit:Businessday News

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Updated 7 Years ago

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