The Presidency, yesterday, foreclosed the possibility of any seeming rift between the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke over the controversy trailing unpaid petroleum subsidy claims.
Okonjo-Iweala, according to reports, had refused to pay subsidy funds up to tune N1.13 trillion and this led to a disagreement between her and her Petroleum Resources counterpart.
Confronted with questions on the issue yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati who said that he was not aware of any disagreement between the two ministers, told State House correspondents that reports in that respect were mere speculation.
He said, “I am not aware of any disagreement between the two ministers. I read those stories too but those stories are usually speculative. They are not based on any substance and I think we should refrain from this attempt to set one individual up against the other.
“The cabinet over which Mr. President presides works as a team and at all times, what he emphasises is team spirit. I am not aware of any open disagreement between the two ministers”, Abati added.
Reports had it that Alison-Madueke and the NNPC management sought for a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan after futile effort to convince the finance minister to pay the said subsidy claims.