More than three years after the subsidy fraud that deprived Nigerians of over N422 billion of taxpayers’ money, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) said yesterday that it had been able to recover a paltry N4.3 billion from the oil dealers.
Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, announced the figure when officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, visited him in his office.
The PPPRA officials were led by their Executive Secretary, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, who sought greater collaboration with the anti-graft agency for better performance of their duties.
Lamorde said the recovery of the amount from the oil firms indicted in the subsidy scam was made possible by the synergy between the EFCC and the PPPRA and called for more teamwork to retrieve more from the firms.
He said more effort was required by the two agencies to sanitise the petroleum industry.
The chairman served notice that EFCC would mount pressures on PPPRA officials to testify in the prosecution of the 13 oil firms indicted by the Presidential Committee that probed the subsidy fraud in 2011.
“I know pressure will be put on your staff. Please bear with us. It is because of the need to sanitise the country,” Lamorde said.
Earlier, PPPRA Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed, thanked the EFCC chairman for receiving his team, adding that the visit was to further consolidate the relationship between the EFCC and PPPRA.
The Federal Government set up a committee to verify 2011 fuel subsidy payments to oil marketers and importers, which uncovered 17 infringements committed by the companies that led to the loss of N422,542,937,668.59 in over-payments.
The committee, headed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, with Mrs. Sola David-Borha, MD, StanbicIBTC Bank as Secretary, was set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance to undertake a forensic audit and verify claims by oil marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The report, which was submitted to the Presidency, detailed 17 broad categories of infringements used to defraud the Federal Government. (NAN)