Govt still owing N291b subsidy, say marketers
AS the nation groans under shortage in fuel supply, the petroleum marketers, under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), have insisted that the Federal Government is owing them N291 billion subsidy claims.
Besides, the marketers are worried that the commercial banks have allegedly closed credit lines against them, due to the order from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), thereby making it a herculean task to import petroleum products.
The group however urged the Federal Government to fully deregulate the downstream petroleum sector, as the Nigerian economy cannot continue to sustain the subsidy regime.
He also enjoined the new administration to urgently look into the lingering subsidy matter and rescue the downstream sector from imminent collapse due to cash crunch.
The Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole, in a statement yesterday, said: “It has become necessary to state the fact that depot owners and other fuel importers under the ‘petroleum subsidy scheme’ are still being owed billions of naira in unpaid subsidy reimbursement, interest on delayed payment and foreign exchange differentials.”
Adewole also fret at the decision by the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs. Okonjo set up a recouncilion committee without stating the timeline for the re-verification exercise did not state the expected date of payment, after disputing the amount claimed by the marketers.
“It should be noted that this is the first time since the establishment of the petroleum subsidy fund scheme that marketers will not have ready and easy access to fuel import loans as it is also the first time that commercial banks will notify importers that based on CBN regulations, importers have attained their credit ceilings with their various banks and would have to make some refunds on the existing loans to the sector prior to being funded for petrol imports; unfortunately the expected refund to the banks is yet to be reimbursed by the Federal Government.
“Due to debts owed transporters by marketers, who have been experiencing serious financial stress due to outstanding debts owed them by the Federal Government as a result of petrol imports under the petroleum subsidy scheme, the PTD-NUPENG and NARTO had at various times protested non-payment of their freight charges by withdrawing their services hence it is unfortunate for anyone to insinuate that marketers are blackmailers holding the nation to ransom via a strike about which they know nothing.
“DAPPMA’s initial assertion on petrol importers and marketers who participate in the petrol subsidy scheme and are therefore entitled to subsidy reimbursement is based on the widely circulated payment list from the Federal Ministry of Finance, which was published in several newspapers,” he said alleging that the name of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited was conspicuously missing in the list.