Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that the Federal Government only paid oil marketers N154 billion and not N156 billion earlier announced by her office last week.
This is in tandem with what Major Oil Markers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) claimed when they said that the Federal Government did not pay N156 billion as widely published in newspapers across the country.
The minister said “When the amount paid is actually looked at, it comes to actually N154 billion; so its N2 billion down; it is still within the calculation of the standard deviation.
Commenting on the outstanding payments, she said “what I want you to understand is that this is a rolling business and that is what we actually discussed today.
“There is no one definite figure; even as we speak, by the time we leave, the executive of PPPRA may have cleared some more Sovereign Debt Notes (SDN) and the figures will change.”
She added that as at last week when N154 billion was paid, N98 billion was outstanding but presently, more SDN had been cleared.
According to her, the amount to be paid as outstanding is never a fixed sum for the total year.
The minister said that government throughout the year had been paying, including the ones in the years before.
She said that there would not be need to be fixed on the argument of whether the outstanding was N98 billion or N200 billion.
“As long as they continue to supply fuel to Nigerians, there will always be something to be paid.
“When this administration took over, monies were owed and we paid; this will continue and it rolls on everyday and you clear the money as you go.
“Like we said, government is a continuum and the marketers have accepted that”