Why fuel subsidy account is empty —Okonjo-Iweala

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday confirmed that the Federal Government’s subsidy account with the Central Bank of Nigeria was empty. She blamed the situation on technical hitches in the documentation with the CBN. Okonjo-Iweala, while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the transfer of funds meant for fuel subsidy payments from the excess crude dollar account to its naira equivalent accounted for the empty account. She explained that the documentation and conversion process, which is between the Ministry of Finance and the CBN, usually takes between four to five days to accomplish. She said if the amount had been in the naira excess crude account, the process of payment would not have been delayed for that long. Oil marketers who went to the CBN on Monday were reportedly turned back on the grounds that the subsidy account with the bank had not been credited. But the Minister said that the N161bn fuel subsidy supplementary budget had been released, and that of this amount, the paper work for a total of N94bn to 23 oil marketers had been concluded.



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