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Fuel marketers call on federal government to pay its debt to end fuel scarcity





- The federal government has been called upon to pay arrears of subsidy claims that it owes members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria

- The association claimed the non-payment had incapacitated fuel marketers who could no longer import the product into the country

- The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria also gave the federal government a 14-day ultimatum to settle a N650 billion debt owed its members

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has demanded that the federal government should pay arrears of subsidy claims that it owed its members between 2013 and 2015.

The association also called for continuation of the subsidy regime to ease the importation of Premium Motor Spirit so as to meet local demand, Vanguard reports.

NAIJ.com gathered that this was made known when the executive secretary of the association, Obafemi Olawore, appeared before the Senate committee on public accounts in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, as part of the probe into the alleged illegal payment of subsidy by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

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It was learnt that MOMAN boss decried the non-payment of the arrears by the government, which he claimed had incapacitated fuel marketers who could no longer import the product into the country.

He said: “Our members are incapacitated and cannot import fuel due to non-payment of the arrears and interests. The banks are always adding their interests at the end of every month.

“We had a promise from the Central Bank of Nigeria that the aspect of interests would be stopped at a certain period of 2017 but that did not come to pass. So, the banks, at the end of every month, are charging interests.”

He stated that two out of six major marketers imported fuel into the country in 2017 to cover some specific customer needs. “These are mainly those that have their foreign affiliates who could cover them in terms of dollar coverage," he added.

But a member of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, alleged that the marketers connived with the NNPC to to defraud the federal government and Nigerians.

In a related development, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) on Tuesday, February 20, gave the federal government a 14-day ultimatum to settle a N650 billion debt allegedly owed its members.

In a statement by its executive secretary, Olufemi Adewole, DAPPMAN warned that failure to meet the deadline will force its members to disengage their workers.

The statement read: "The unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of manpower to operate same pending the time the federal government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers."

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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria attributed the fuel scarcity experienced by Nigerians during the Yuletide to increase of crude oil price in international market and the removal of subsidy.

After a meeting between petroleum marketers and government representatives, the chairman of DAPMAN, Dapo Abiodun, explained to State House correspondents that marketers were finding it difficult to import the petroleum products because of the increase in the price of crude oil.

Fuel scarcity: This is getting too much for us - Nigerians lament - on NAIJ.com TV

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Source: Naija.ng

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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