Govt owes us N250bn, say oil marketers

21 January 2015, Abuja – Members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA, have said that the Federal Government owes them N250bn in subsidy arrears on petrol for 2014.

IPMAN-fuel pumpThey said the figure comprised N95bn in foreign exchange differentials and accumulated interests from banks, and added N155bn as the real subsidy arrears.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, the Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Mr. Femi Olawore, said the announcement of the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N87 from N97 per litre was surprising to the operators as no details were given by the Federal Government before and after the reduction took effect.

He said the current dealers and marketers’ margin of N4.60 per litre on the product was not adequate and that they would seek an upward review of the margin.

Olawore said for the past two years, the marketers had been requesting for a review of the margin from the government, adding that it was last reviewed in July 2007.

He said, “The Minister of Petroleum Resources has directed that a committee be set up to look into the current margins. It is the right of the minister to announce a decrease or increase in the pump price of petrol according to the Petroleum Act.

“We don’t object to the N87 price, though it came to us as a surprise. So, we had to meet with the government yesterday (Monday). We had a meeting with the Department of Petroleum Resources and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency. We do not object to the N87 and we will comply.

“It is a good thing that the N10 decrease is on the ex-depot price. If it was from our own margin, we won’t be able to comply.”

Olawore said the last payment of N166bn that the government made to the marketers was a part payment of the 2014 subsidy claims.

According to Olawore, the increase in the margin does not necessarily have to bring about a rise in the pump price of petrol as the government can decide to reduce its own take.

On why some marketers had not reverted to the new price regime, Olawore said engineering work in some filling stations were contracted out and that getting the contractors to come fix the fuel dispensing machines would take a little while.

Meanwhile, most petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday complied with the Federal Government’s directive to sell petrol at N87 per litre.

One of our correspondents observed that nearly all the stations that refused to comply with the directive on Monday had adjusted their pumps to the new price by Tuesday.

In Ilorin, the Kwara State Operation Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Amos Jokodola, said the agency had shut about 35 petrol stations for not complying with the directive of the Federal Government.

He stated that a DPR team that monitored the compliance level in Ilorin discovered that the affected filling stations had yet to revert to the new price of the product.

– The Punch

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