27 July 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE Nigerian government has asked its Debt Management Office (DMO) to commence payments of fuel subsidy claims to marketers, to avert fuel scarcity that could follow threat by the marketers to shun imports.
Coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Thursday directed payment of all verified claims, backed by supporting Sovereign Debt Notes from the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMA, had Tuesdy given a 48-hour ultimatum issued to the government to pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims or face suspension of fuel supply and distribution across the country.
Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, special assistant to the minister, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the directive for commencement of payments to marketers with verified claims was to reinforce government’s determination to sustain fuel supply across the country.
Okonjo-Iweala said in the statement that following the report of the Presidential Committee headed by the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, some marketers also owe government significant sums of money, and that government expects that such debt will be paid.
The statement said: “Consequent on this, there is no call for marketers or other stakeholders to go on strike because government is addressing subsidy payment issues in a structured way that protects both the interest of the country and those of genuine marketers.”