By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Coordinating Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala says payment of N45 billion to oil marketers is underway, after the verification of claims currently ongoing.
In a statement from the Special Adviser to the Minister, Paul Nwabuikwu, the Minister said the information was necessary to satisfy all the enquiries coming in with regards to the status of payment to the oil marketers.
According to her, the verification was deemed necessary to ensure that the federal government is not held liable in the event of any litigation between the banks and their marketer-customers, following the institution of the new procedure by Office of the Attorney General, OAGF.
‘‘We have received several enquiries regarding the status of payments to oil marketers for fuel imports. Please note the following: Only marketers whose claims have been cleared after they have gone through the verification processes are paid. This is to ensure that the unpleasant experiences of the recent past with regard to wrong and irregular payments are not repeated.
‘‘The process for the latest batch of payments totalling N45 billion is currently on and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, OAGF has confirmed that some marketers who have submitted letters of indemnity to the OAGF have already been paid. Other claims are being attended to.
“The letters of indemnity are an additional requirement for payment because banks which financed imports by some marketers had written to the OAGF through their lawyers to complain that their clients (the marketers) are making interest payments through other banks contrary to the terms of agreements reached.
The banks in question are insisting that the interest payments be made through them since they granted the facilities that attracted the interest.