FG releases _170bn in fourth quarter, says Okonjo-Iweala

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Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday the Federal Government released N170 billion as cash backing for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Okonjo-Iweala made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
“On the issue of cash backing for the fourth quarter: as you know, we released N300 billion last quarter for a total of N1.01 trillion in releases and it was said that we have not cash backed the fourth quarter
“This is not correct; we have cash backed N170bn of the fourth quarter release, that’s the correct information, about N111billion of that has gone straight into the accounts of Ministries, Department and Agencies as cash.”
According to the minister, a balance of N59 billion will service Authorisations to Incur Expenditure (AIEs).
She said that as at the end of October, 71 per cent had been utilised, while 20 per cent was yet to be utilised.
“So, we believe that before the end of the year, it will be utilised by the MDAs.
“We also want to be careful not to just release funds anyhow until we are sure of what it is being used for.
“We have also released N44 billion to the Federal Ministry of Works in order to enable it to work on the major damaged roads in Nigeria against the Christmas season.”
On the police pension, she said that a letter had been sent to ensure that payments were continuously made to police pensioners.
“To make sure that police pensioners are paid, we handed over the management of the account to the Accountant General of the Federation and he has been effecting payment to pensioners.
“And he has restructured the nine accounts to four; he is managing them while the restructuring of the police pension outfit goes on.’’
Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, gave the assurance that a transparent police pension office capable of managing resources effectively, would be put in place.
On the subsidy payment, she said that the committee mandated to handle the matter had concluded the verification of claims.
“They’ve verified all claims worth about N1 trillion of independent marketers; and N232 billion is what has been seen as claims that cannot be substantiated. This is now their final piece of work and they have handed it over to committee members.’’
She assured that government would continue to make payments to ensure that no fuel queues returned to the filling stations in December.

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