15 May 2015

Fuel scarcity may persist; ...oil marketers demand payment of outstanding N200billion

There seems to be no end in sight to the fuel scarcity crisis triggered by the demand by oil marketers for the payment of subsidy funds, with the marketers demanding for the payment of 200 billion Naira the government still owes them.

An official of the Oil Marketers’ union in Nigeria told Channels Television on Friday that the union was only ‘demanding that the money marketers are owed should be paid’.

The Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association, Mr Obafemi Olawoore, said three jetties controlled by the union in Apapa, Lagos State, were discharging fuel, but stressed that lack of fund had affected the importation of petroleum products.

There are three discharging points. The third is a vessel belonging to the Pipelines And Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
“It is not that we are not bringing in fuel. The problem is that we are not bringing enough and the reason we are not bringing enough is simple. If you pay 154 [billion Naira] out of out of 354 [billion Naira] you are left with 200 [billion Naira]. That is not up to 50 per cent.

“What we are saying is that we should make attempt to pay. Banks should agree to open their of lines of credit so that we can access funds and bring in more products while the government talks to us.

“As we speak, nobody is talking, so we do not know the thinking of anybody. There is no crime in asking for the money. They are owing us some money and we want the money,” Mr Olawoore said.
The effects of the lingering fuel crises has continued to ‎make life difficult for many Nigerians, with few service stations selling fuel above the official pump price of 87 Naira.

In Lagos State, workers are facing traffic jam in different routes leading to the Island. Tanker drivers waiting to get petroleum products have packed on the major roads leading to Apapa.

On the solution to the challenge, Mr Olawoore insisted that the deregulation of the petroleum sector should be fully implemented.

Earlier, the Federal Ministry of Finance said it had paid the sum of 156 billion Naira to oil marketers.

The Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister and Minister of Finance, Paul Nwabuikwu, gave the figures in a statement on Thursday, April 30.

The Ministry explained that the payment was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to prioritising payment to marketers in spite of revenue constraints.

Credit: Channels

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