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MDAs to spend N400bn before Dec. 31 –Okonjo-Iweala

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IMAGE: Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala »



Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government have a balance of N400bn to be spent before the end of the year according to the 2013 budget.

Okonjo-Iweala said this on Monday while appearing before the Joint Senate Committee of Finance and Appropriations meeting on 2013 budget to address the allegation of bloated revenues estimates.

She said N1.01trn out of N1.05trn realised, had been released, leaving the balance of N400bn.

She added that the total inflow from the Excess Crude Account stood at $14.36bn while the outflow of $9bn had been shared among the three tiers of government and for the payment of oil subsidy.

She further said that $1bn was paid into the Sovereign Wealth Fund, leaving a balance of $4.3bn.

She explained that utilisation rate of what had been released stood at 72 per cent.

The minister said, “This means that we still have in excess N260bn waiting to be used by MDAs. On top of that we are now releasing N150bn. We should have up to N400bn still waiting to be utilised before the end of the year. This is because the money for the past three quarters had not been fully utilised.”

Okonjo-Iweala said the Federal Government had paid oil subsidy to oil marketers through the Petroleum Products Prices Regulating Agency.

But she clarified that the money paid to the oil marketers through the PPPRA was for the subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) alone.

She said “I am really very clear that the payment is for petrol. I think the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should answer the question on whether subsidy is paid on kerosene. I can answer for what we pay, based on what we receive from PPPRA.”

The minister noted that the activities of crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta greatly affected revenue projection from the oil sector while the government policies slowed down revenues from the non-oil sector.

She hinted that President Goodluck Jonathan had set up a committee headed by Delta state Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, to address the issue.

Members of the committee, according to Okonjo-Iweala, included all the governors in the Niger Delta region; the Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Finance, the NNPC, heads of the arms of the military and other security agencies.

She said, “We have been very open and clear on the issue of shortfall in crude oil production. The Federal Government is committed to the issue of shortfall in production. We hope the work of the committee will go a long way to tackle the problems, including the shutting down of oil pipeline.

“There are two pipelines being controlled by Shell that had been completely shut down. If these could be revived, it will go a long way to address the issue at hand. We hope the effort of the committee will bring hope.”

On the losses being experienced in the non-oil sector, the minister said that Customs had identified how government policies were slowing down revenue projection.

She stressed that the Federal Government was making efforts to block loopholes so that the non-oil sector could also generate in the required revenue.

Article Credit: PUNCH Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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