The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that the Federal Government’s allegation that it received N6.7 trillion in fuel subsidies is not supported by any papers.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, revealed this on Thursday, August 11, 2022.
Emefiele spoke during a meeting of the House of Representatives special ad hoc committee. The committee was set up to review Nigeria’s petroleum product subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021.
The CBN governor informed the legislators at the start of the inquiry hearing that he could only respond to inquiries about technical aspects of subsidy payments.
“I will be able to provide answers here. But if they are outside the technical aspects of the subsidy transactions; then I will not be able to respond,” he said.
Hussein Kagara, the apex bank’s Deputy Director of Banking Services, spoke for Emefiele; particularly when he informed the legislators that the regulator was unable to print out the subsidy payment paperwork due to their size.
However, his justification was not well received by the committee.
Lawmaker Mark Gbilah (NNPP, Benue) claimed that N6.7 trillion had been spent on subsidies in less than a year; adding that the CBN governor should personally appear to address the matter with the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The committee, therefore, subpoenaed to appear on August 18 for further hearing.
Meanwhile, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, stated on Thursday, August 11, 2022 that state governors had no right to complain about deductions from the Paris Club return given to consultants they hired.
The AGF claimed that the commotion caused by the governors forum was not only unwarranted; but also an obvious instance of no defense.
The minister reminded the governors that they established the liability whose payment they have also indemnified. He stated this when he spoke at the Ministerial Media Briefing hosted by the Presidential Communications Team in Abuja.
In response to a question about why, despite a presidential directive to do so; he has decided against enforcing the directive because it appears that some deductions have already been made; Malami stated that one of the components of the Nigeria Governors Forum’s (NGF) request for the refund was; particularly the payment of the consultants the forum had hired.
Malami recalled that portion of the reimbursement that the governors had initially given to the states also went to the consultants.
He said that the governors ultimately made the decision to stop paying while requesting a settlement outside of court.
The Minister said this resulted to request to the President to make the payment; a request he said, was then passed on to the Office of the AGF for legal opinion.