SUBSIDY DEBT: FG to settle oil marketers on Friday
The Federal Government has concluded plans to pay oil marketers under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, (MOMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) the sum of N246 billion on Friday as the first tranche of the N348 billion outstanding subsidy claims government is owing them.
This was disclosed by the Chief Operating Officer, COO, Downstream, NNPC, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, on Saturday after a meeting with officials of petroleum products marketers in Abuja, adding that the balance of the subsidy debt will be cleared by the government in 2019 and 2020.
Ikem-Obih 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 pay the first tranche as promised and it will be paid through promissory note that would be issued by the Debt Management Office, DMO.”
According to him, the decision to pay through promissory notes was based on the need to manage cash injection into the economy, explaining that injecting cash of that magnitude into the economy may affect the country negatively.
Ikem-Obih further stated that this mode of settlement had been agreed between the government and the oil marketers since 2017, saying it was not a new development.
He noted that the government decided to pay the money to the oil marketers in full and had directed that there would be no deductions from the marketers’ account to settle debts owed government.
“Some oil marketing companies, DAPPMAN and WOMAN members, are indebted to federal government agencies, like the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). But the government had directed that the debts should not be deducted from the payments. This is because if we do, most of the marketers would be left without a dime,” Ikem-Obih added.
Read also: Fresh fears of fuel scarcity as oil marketers insist on strike
Explaining the disparity between the N800 billion claimed by the oil marketers and the N348 billion approved by the National Assembly, he said the debt position of all the marketers to the government was considered and agreed upon as at June 30, 2018 and presented to the National Assembly for approval, which after consideration of the debts, approved the sum of N348 billion.
Open-Obih also assured Nigerians that the NNPC was ready to ensure stable supply of petroleum products during the Yuletide and beyond.
According to him, presently, the corporation has over 2.8 billion litres of petrol in stock which would last 55 days, adding that 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.
He further revealed that MOMAN, DAPPMAN and IPMAN had assured the 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.
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