…As govt remains mute over subsidy payment
Kunle Kalejaye 15 May 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Strong indications have emerged that the current fuel scarcity in the country may persist beyond the May 29 handover of power to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari by incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is coming as Major Oil Marketers Asoociationof Nigeria, MOMAN, and Depot Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA’s demand for payment of subsidy interests remains unheeded by the Federal Government.
Nothing yet had been heard from the committee set up by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to verify the actual subsidy figures and interest to pay oil marketers, the marketers said.
Some of the marketers believe that the committee which is made up of the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN among others is a ploy use by the Federal Government to delay payment of their claims.
They argued that the figures presented to government for payment had earlier been verified by PPPRA under the supervision of CBN and that verification by the new committee would delay payment beyond the hand over date.
Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore told news men in Lagos that “because of the huge outstanding that we have; because we have not been able to pay back the loan we have taken; because our suppliers are not too confident; we are unable to bring fresh import.
“Whatever we have now is what we have received from NNPC and it is the small quantity that we have from NNPC that is why you see all the trucks in Lagos scrambling for fuel”.
He also explained that during the few weeks of fuel scarcity which has brought hardship on Nigerians, the federal government has not initiated any meeting with oil marketers., describing government’s silent gesture as uncomfortable.
The Executive Secretary of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association, DAPPMA , Mr. Olufemi Adewole said the Federal Government owes its members over N200 billion.
He also told news men that of 40 members, only 24 participate in the subsidy programme, adding that all its members have been paid subsidy while six out of 24 have been paid their interest.