09 December 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Saturday, disclosed that the Federal Government had agreed to pay oil marketers N236 billion next Friday, December 14, 2018 – the first tranche of the outstanding N348 billion subsidy claims.
Speaking after a meeting with officials of petroleum product marketers in Abuja, Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of the NNPC, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, disclosed the debt would be paid through promissory notes to the accounts of members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA.
Ikem-Obih said the remaining portion of the claims would be paid in 2019, after a meeting between the oil marketers and the Federal Ministry of Finance.
He said, “We agreed that after the first tranche is paid, the marketers would form a committee to work on details of how the next tranche will be paid in 2019 and the last tranche in 2020. Government is fully committed to paying the first tranche as promised and will be paid through a promissory note that would be issued by the Debt Management Office, DMO.”
He declared that the Federal Government had insisted on making the payments next Friday through promissory notes, which is equivalent to cash and can be liquidated almost immediately.
Ikem-Obih said the decision to pay through promissory notes was based on the need to manage cash injection into the economy, noting that injecting cash of that magnitude into the economy might affect the country negatively.
He maintained that the mode of settlement had been agreed between the Federal Government and the oil marketers since 2017, adding that the decision was not new.
He assured Nigerians that the NNPC was fully ready to ensure stable supply of petroleum products during the Yuletide period and beyond, stating that presently, the corporation has over 2.8 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, which would last the country for 55 days while 90,000 metric tonnes of diesel, imported by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, and NNPC Retail, would arrive the country in the next couple of days.
Ikem-Obih declared that all MOMAN, DAPPMA, and IPMAN had assured the Federal Government that their facilities would be available throughout the festive period, while all the NNPC depots across the country and its 618 retail outlets would also be dispensing the products.
He also disclosed that in addition to the imported fuel stock, the countries refineries would also be contributing, adding that Warri Refinery had returned to production last Thursday, while Port Harcourt refineries are about to resume production.