By Babajide Komolafe
Olusola Adekanola, firm of chartered accountants have described as injustice the recommendations of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on oil subsidy regime, that it should be prosecuted and blacklisted for three years.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Executive Chairman of the Company, Otunba Olusola Adekanola said that the company believes it is not too late to correct the injustice.
“We hold the House of Representatives Committee on Fuel Subsidy in high esteem and we are sure that it did not have adequate and valid information within its reach to premise its recommendations on. We are therefore prepared to avail it information and evidence to assert our innocence on this subject”, he said. He said that it is obvious the Committee misunderstood the role of the firm in the subsidy regime. He said, for example, contrary to general perception; payments made to fuel marketers were not based on the certification of the company as erroneously communicated by the report of the committee. “Rather, payments were made to marketers before the subsidy claim documents are forwarded to us for review through the Budget Office of the Federation under the Federal Ministry of Finance”.
The practice is to adjust for whatever difference is highlighted by the auditors to the subsequent payments to the marketers. Within the three months referred to above, we reported an over payment of N27.6millionto a marketer.”
He said the firm was engaged to carry out physical verifification of quantity of PMS brought into the country by independent oil marketing companies and discharged into tank farms and secondly to review subsidy claims referred to us for correctness and accuracy amongst others.
“While we commenced the physical verification aspect of the assignment on 10th June, 2011 following the signing of a valid agreement on 2nd June, 2011, subsidy claims’ documents from PPPRA were not forwarded to us for review until October, 2011.
Whereas we were allocated 258 vessels for inspection between June and December, 2011, verified subsidy payment documents for just three (3) months out of a total of 36 months (January, 2009 to 31stDecember, 2011) investigated by the House Committee on oil subsidy probe.
Specifically, the total value of claims post payment verified by us covering 86 vessels was N121.9billion (Batches T/11 – W/11) which represents only 4% of the N2.7 trillion in 2011 subsidy payments under investigation by the Ad hoc Committee. The big question is how material is N121.9billion to N2.7 trillion that has warranted the recommendation to blacklist and prosecute our firm.”