Saturday, 25 August 2012
FG Recovers N400 Billion Part of Fuel Subsidy Fund - NEC
Abuja — The Federal Government said on Thursday that it had recovered part of the over N400 billion money allegedly stolen from the fuel subsidy fund.
Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the National Economic Council meeting at the Presidential Villa.
Obi, who did not disclose how much government had recovered so far, said the council was in support of the Federal Government taking legal action to recover the money in full.
"From the report we got today, some have started refunding; it is a serious case that people were paid for vessels that were not anywhere near the Nigerian waters.
"And I think that when the Federal Government does a thing that is courageous and right, it should be encouraged to do more.
"We support the Federal Government in its effort to clean up the entire value chain and process of the petroleum industry; it has our full support.
"Council commends the Federal Government on its stand in the prosecution of those who were wrongly paid the subsidy money and on the need for them to refund it fully," he said.
About 25 oil marketing and trading companies were indicted in the fraudulent diversion of the subsidy fund.
They were alleged to have collected the money meant to subsidise imported petroleum products but failed to import the products.
Some of the Chief Executives of the indicted companies have already been charged to court for alleged criminal offence by the EFCC.
Obi said the council also considered the briefing by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the progress made so far by the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P)
He said NEC endorsed the plan to launch the SURE-P youth engagement and employment initiative in all the states.
Obi said state governors were encouraged to sensitise their people on the processes for job selection and payment to beneficiaries, beginning from Sept. 6.
He said the programme would generate about 270,000 employment opportunities at the Federal level and 5,000 in each state.
NEC is the country's highest economic decision making body, which is statutorily presided over by the Vice President.
Members of the council are the 36 state governors, the FCT Minister, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Ministers of Finance and National Planning, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and the governor of CBN.