Posted by News Express | 24 December 2013 | 3,758 times
Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, this morning tore apart allegations of lack of transparency in the implementation of the government’s waiver policy.
Okonjo-Iweala in a response to recent claims on the issue by The Punch and SaharaReporters set the records straight in a statement issued by her Special Adviser, Paul C Nwabuikwu.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance categorically refutes the allegation that it is running a corrupt waiver policy,” Okonjo-Iweala said in the statement. She explained as follows:
•Two years ago the Executive introduced a total reform of the waiver policy. Waivers are now only granted on a sectoral basis. This means that every company in the sector enjoys the same waiver privileges. All companies or entities involved in a sector or given activity will benefit from the same waivers once they meet the necessary criteria.
•The Federal Ministry of Finance published an abbreviated version of the full waiver report in several newspapers. It was also announced that the full version is available at www.budgetoffice.gov.ng and on social media (http://on.fb.me/1fWHYG5).
•The SaharaReporters claim that the Federal Ministry of Finance surreptitiously released an updated waiver list on the web only on December 22nd, 2013 is categorically false. In the spirit of transparency, the full waiver list was made public on December 3rd.
•For the avoidance of doubt: the Federal Ministry of Finance has never denied issuing waivers to African First Ladies Forum conference. This official event for First Ladies of all the other African countries necessitated vehicles for the transport of these visiting dignitaries. The waiver granted for this occasion is similar to other waivers issued to various state governments and government institutions such as Rivers, Lagos, and Akwa Ibom for similar official sporting and conference events.
•As always The Federal Ministry of Finance welcomes all legitimate inquiries and criticisms. The Ministry of Finance cannot be expected to remain silent when falsification and distortion of facts occurs.
•Photo shows Okonjo-Iweala.
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