The Federal Government on Wednesday said it would continue to block loopholes in the fuel subsidy regime, adding that marketers with genuine claims would be paid on Thursday (today).

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the government had worked so hard to clean up the mess in the payment of fuel subsidy and had brought down the claims from N2.2tn in 2011 to N971bn.

She also said of the N850bn so far released for capital projects in the 2013 budget, about 76 per cent had been utilised by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.

She spoke in Abuja while briefing journalists on recent developments in the Nigerian economy.

The minister said, “We have released N850bn now; we released N400bn in the first quarter, N200bn in the second quarter, and we have released N250bn for the third quarter.

“And we have cash-backed virtually all we have released. For example, of this fresh N250bn, we have loaded N210bn onto the system already.

“From the N600bn released for the first and second quarters, the MDAs have used 76 per cent on the average, and we just released N250bn of which N210bn has been cash-backed, and we hope to cash-back the remainder at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting.”

It was learnt that the FAAC members would reconvene on Thursday (today) following the stalemate in the last meeting.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government will from the 2014 fiscal period prepare its budget on the new National Chart of Accounts.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, said this while inaugurating the implementation committee on the application of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

The NCA is a systematic list of the account used by an entity to define each class of items for which money or the equivalent is spent or received.

Otunla, according to a statement from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, said the NCA would be used by the three tiers of government.

He said, “In line with the adoption of the IPSAS, the OAGF, states’ accountant-generals and Directors of Finance and Accounts/Treasury at local government councils are to commence the implementation of the provisions of the IPSAS and keep their books of account in accordance with the new COA and the General Purpose Financial Principle format; all concerned should strictly comply with this.”

This, Otunla said, would help to improve the quality of general purpose financial reporting by public sector entities, leading to better informed assessments of the resources allocation decisions made by governments.


Information from Punch was used in this report.