by Agency Reporter
The Federal Government has sacked two accounting and auditing firms, Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola and Co, which were said to have played a role in the mishandling of fuel subsidy.
This is the first reaction of the Federal Government to the damning revelations contained in the report of the Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Management of Fuel Subsidy.
Government’s reaction was contained in a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, and dated April 19, 2012.
It said, “The services of the audit and accounting firms responsible for certifying the documents and claims of marketers before payment have been terminated. The companies are Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola and Co.”
Government also set up a committee headed by the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, to head a committee to “examine the claims of payment arrears for 2011 currently being made by marketers. This is to ensure that only genuine claims are honoured. ”
The Federal Government has also stopped the further depletion of the Excess Crude Account.
The full text of the statement reads,
“FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
News release. April 19, 2012
SUBSIDY PAYMENTS: FINANCE MINISTRY TERMINATES SERVICES OF ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS
Concerned about the management of the subsidy regime, the Federal Ministry of Finance has for the last two months been reviewing aspects of the implementation of the subsidy regime related to its functions. The review has produced a lot of useful details on what was wrong with the system and what needs to be done to ensure improvement going forward.
The review process kicked off in February when the ministry and relevant government agencies held a meeting with bankers and marketers at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. This was followed by a subsequent session with the accounting and auditing firms to re-evaluate their work.
Based on the review, the Ministry has taken the following steps:
• The services of the audit and accounting firms responsible for certifying the documents and claims of marketers before payment have been terminated. The companies are Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola and Co.
• The Ministry has established a committee made up of credible and experienced persons from the private and public sector with strong technical component under the chairmanship of Mr. Aigboje Imoukuede to examine the claims of payment arrears for 2011 currently being made by marketers. This is to ensure that only genuine claims are honoured.
• The ministry is also finalising a new and more effective system to replace the current arrangement and, in this regard, a second committee has been set up to propose a good way to forward.
Based on other outcomes of the review, the ministry will take further actions as necessary.
In a related development, the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has put on hold further depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
Paul C Nwabuikwu
Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance.”
More details later.
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