*Another meeting to hold next week
08 December 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — If care is not taken, Nigeria may experience fuel crisis during the festive season as a meeting between oil marketers and the federal government held yesterday in Abuja ended with no agreement between the parties.
The meeting which had various unions of the marketers, government agencies including the finance ministry, Debt Management Office, DMO, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA in attendance however, ended with no agreement as to how the huge debt will be paid off, SweetcrudeReports learnt.
As a result, the meeting will continue in the coming week.
In a statement on Sunday, marketers, under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA and to Independent Petroleum Products Importers, IPPIs said that failure to meet the deadline will force its members to disengage their workers, threatening to stop loading of petrol at depots.
The marketers had demanded that the debt is paid in cash as against promissory note.
As a result, the federal government was forced to meeting with the marketers on Thursday, after which the ministry of finance announced that an agreement had been reached.
Spokesperson to the Finance Minister, Ella Abechi, in the statement, said:
“The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) with the Federal Government delegation meeting held at the Federal Ministry Finance in Abuja on Thursday, December 6, 2018, agreed that operations at all depots and sales will continue.
“After a meeting held today, Thursday, December 6, 2018, with senior Government officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Debt Management Office, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Budget Office of the Federation, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, we are satisfied with the arrangements being made by the Government to settle the claims of petroleum marketers.
“The discussions showed that the Government has considered the concerns and is reviewing the initial process approved by the Government for the settlement. We consider that this shows the Government’s responsiveness to the need for the claims to be settled in a timely manner.
“We hereby wish to reassure the members of the public on the availability of PMS. We urge the public not to panic, as there will be no fuel scarcity.”
“The engagement of the two sides will continue on Monday, December 10, 2018.”
However, some marketers who had attended the meeting told this newspaper that no agreement was reached.
Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Clement Isong, also confirmed the meeting had ended without any substantial agreement.
A report by Premium Times earlier in the week had said marketers rejected government’s N340 billion promissory notes offer, insisting on cash to enable them to meet their immediate responsibilities such as paying staff salaries.