The Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments has increased the number of companies indicted in its probe to 25 from an earlier 21. The four new companies indicted by the committee for a total sum of N6.49 billion, are Capital Oil Plc, Ceoti Limited, Heyden Petroleum and Master Energy Oil and Gas limited. This brings the total new fraudulent subsidy claims amount by the 25 indicted companies to N388.49 billion. This was contained in a letter written to President Goodluck Jonathan, by the chairman of the Committee, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
Twenty-one oil-marketing companies and importers had earlier been indicted by the committee, for making fraudulent subsidy claims which might have cost the nation N382 billion, out of the N403 billion verified by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. The 21 companies earlier indicted by the committee are Conoil Plc, MRS Oil and Gas Ltd., Capital Oil and Gas Industry Ltd. Aluminnur Resources Ltd., Brilla Energy Ltd., Caades Oil and Gas Ltd., Downstream Energy Source Ltd., Eterna Plc and Eurafric Oil and Gas Ltd. Others are Lumen Skies Ltd., Majope Investment Ltd., Matrix Energy Ltd., Menon Oil and Gas Ltd., MOB International Services, Nasaman Oil Services Ltd., Natacel Petroleum Ltd., Ocean Energy Trading and Services, Pinnacle Contractors Ltd., Sifax Oil and Gas Company, Tonique Oil Services Ltd. and Top Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd.
The Federal Government has already spent N493.67 billion on fuel subsidy claims this year, with N451 billion out of the amount used, to settle the 2011 arrears. A total of N888 billion was earmarked for subsidy payments in the 2012 budget.