The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday confirmed The PUNCH’s story that the Federal Government’s subsidy account with the Central Bank of Nigeria was empty, blaming the situation on technical hitches in the documentation with the CBN.
Okonjo-Iweala, while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the transfer of funds meant for fuel subsidy payments from the excess crude dollar account to its naira equivalent accounted for the empty account.
She explained that the documentation and conversion process, which is between the Ministry of Finance and the CBN, usually takes between four to five days to accomplish.
She said if the amount had been in the naira excess crude account, the process of payment would not have been delayed for that long.
She said: It doesn’t normally take very long if there was already money in the domestic excess crude account to honour it and this takes effect immediately.
Sometimes we have to shift money from one account to the other and usually if the money is in the dollar account for the excess crude and we have to shift it to the naira account. That means, it will be converted into naira by the CBN and we have to authenticate the amount and so on.
So between the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, it takes between four to five days to accomplish and the Central Bank is of course very strict because it has to have all the documentation, but I have been informed just before I came in that the money is being credited to the account now as we speak.
She said as soon as the account is credited on Tuesday, marketers that had completed their paper work should go for their claims. 
SOURCE:The Punch

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