$49.8bn not Missing – Okonjo I weala

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Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday, said the $49.8 billion, which the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi, claimed was not in the Federation Account, was intact.

This came as she debunked the allegation that the sum of N500 billion was missing from the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) account.

The minister disclosed these, on Tuesday, when she appeared before the Senator Abdul Ningi-led Senate ad hoc committee on SURE-P.

According to her, the total subsidy funds between February 2012 and September 2013 was N816 billion.

She said N300 billion out of the amount had been remitted to the SURE- P account at the federal level, while N500 billion was shared to states and local government councils within the period.

She, however, disagreed with the Senate ad hoc committee over the formula used to arrive at the N15 billion monthly remittances to the fund.

The committee had queried the minister for remitting a flat rate every month to the SURE-P account, when proceeds from petroleum sales had not been stable within the period under review.

Members of the committee also faulted the minister’s disbursement of N500 billion to states and local governments areas in the country.

They said the development explained why the programme failed to meet the yearnings and aspiration of the masses.

However, the minister challenged the committee to invite specific government agencies which had failed to effectively implement the aspect of the programme, insisting that the programme had achieved its purpose.

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